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Our Distinctive Services

Jones Road Family Development Corporation has served our community for more than 30 years. Literacy Through the Arts Programs offer children and youth ages 5 to 18 years opportunities for after school tutoring, music and arts instruction, meals, youth employment, and summer arts camp.

Literacy Through the Arts (LTA) afterschool and summer programs respond to the needs of students living and learning in our neighborhood by providing children with arts-based programming. LTA emphasizes music and arts instruction, along with cultural enrichment. We believe that through arts learning, students’ capacity to build other skills is enhanced. In other words, learning in the arts leads to better learning overall. 

Typically, LTA offers 1 – 2 LTA sessions per week at the Jones Road Church; and 1 day per week at local schools along with its Summer Academy.  But, due to the COVID Pandemic, this is not a typical year.

The COVID pandemic has required adjustments to our programs:

  • The Summer Academy program was abbreviated in 2020 and held virtually; and 

  • Jones Road proudly accepted an offer to participate in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Academic Learning Pods initiative, as described below.


CMSD Academic Learning Pods Initiative

The Cleveland Foundation and United Way of Greater Cleveland, in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), launched the  Academic Learning Pods (ALP) initiative in 2020 to provide students in kindergarten through eighth grade with a safe space and in-person tutoring to supplement their virtual learning.  


Eighteen children meet at the Jones Road Church, 5 days per week, for virtual learning with professional proctors from 8 am to 3 pm and continuing at 3 pm with LTA activities.  Vocal music violin instruction, keyboard, percussion, creative writing, help with reading and math are offered in the after-school program along with soccer, gymnastics, and life skills instruction.  Mask are worn and social distancing is carefully observed. 

LTA Afterschool Program

In “normal times”, the LTA Afterschool Program is hosted one day a week at the Jones Road Church.  The program beginning varies between mid-October/early November depending on funding availability; and extends through the beginning of May.  The purpose of the LTA program is to offer children music and arts instruction which is no longer readily available in schools. The objectives of the program are to increase reading comprehension, fluency, word recognition and numeracy.  The program hours are 2:30 pm through 6:00 pm.  Participants include students grades 1 through 8.  Attendance varies between 30 and 50 students.

High school and middle school students under supervision of LTA staff serve as peer tutors for younger grade students.  These tutors gain valuable workplace skills such as accountability, being on time, working as part of a team, and following directions while earning a stipend for the hours spent working with younger students.


The daily curriculum includes a beginning snack, reading and homework assistance, art/music instruction (violin, percussion, Orff (mallet instruments & movement), and /or reading theater/production), and in conclusion a hot dinner meal.  

Services can be expanded to multiple days per week through increased funding levels.  Historically, grant awards have allowed staff to provide on-site reading tutoring at neighborhood schools (i.e. AB Hart Elementary School).  This service is funding dependent and can be restored through increased funding levels.

Summer LTA Academy

In “normal times” the summer academy is a 6-week, one-half day Monday through Friday, summer program serving children and youth ages 6 through 18 with arts instruction and literacy development, as well as summer employment for teens.  The academy is held at Cleveland Central Catholic High School who graciously support our efforts.  Attendance at this popular event typically numbers about 200 youth.  The program begins with breakfast and concludes with a lunch.

Music and arts instruction, by professional teachers with support of peer tutors, serves as a conduit for learning, increasing language development and memory recall while boosting self-esteem. Students build 21st century skills desired by employers including communication, creativity, and teamwork through their work as part of an ensemble. Older children and youth develop self-confidence and interpersonal skills by serving as peer tutors aiding younger children with musical and artistic lessons, as well as reading and math.

Children 1st through 6th grade receive music and arts instruction and reading assistance. Seventh to twelfth grade students provide program assistance, serving as peer tutors and assisting younger students through music and arts sessions, tutoring, and homework help. Music instruction starts with Orff (mallet instruments & movement) and progresses naturally as interest and skill increases to violin, brass, and wind instruments. 

The academy venue is located at Cleveland Central Catholic High School which generously provides space and support services during the LTA summer academy.

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