Thriving Minds

The value of what happens between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM during the school year and throughout the summer months can have a profoundly positive impact on our children’s lives. Thriving Minds programs give children the opportunity to excel in an environment that encourages exploration and creative expression. The Thriving Minds program provides inspiring and enriching activities that kids can’t get elsewhere.

A Proven Model

Big Thought has been operating Thriving Minds since 2009, enrolling more than 25,000 students, engaging the participation of more than 7,000 parents and caregivers, providing more than 5.5 million student and adult hours of programming, and partnering with more than 100 organizations to offer high-quality learning experiences.

How it Works

Creativity through breadth of experiences

  • TMAS builds students’ creativity by guided learning using a broad range of resources and manipulatives
  • Age-appropriate STEM, Performance/Visual Art, Project-based Learning experiences boost student engagement and critical thinking

Specially Trained Team – A relationship-based approach

  • TMAS staff have been highly curated and trained to facilitate relationship-based learning environments leveraging best-practice instructional and relational methodology. Students don’t just get an after-school teacher; they get a trained enrichment mentor.
  • Campus team selected for best fit for your campus

Embedded social and emotional skills

Students learn to work in teams, communicate, employ empathy, and a many other social skills that are valuable to their own well-being and are critical
to building complex human relationships.

Homework and academic support

TMAS staff partner with campus faculty to help students complete homework assignments and align creative learning experiences to in-school curriculum

Our Big Impact
Thriving Minds After School

In the 2017-2018 academic year, Thriving Minds reached 1,491 students with 393,314 cumulative student learning hours.

Through Thriving Minds,

  • 48% of students improve their math grades from fall to spring semester*
  • 49% of students improve their reading grades from fall to spring semester*
  • 87% of students demonstrate teacher-reported improvements in student behavior*
  • 46% of students show positive gains on overall social and emotional learning**

* 21st Century Creative Learning Center External Evaluation, Cycle 5, 6 & 7 (2009-2016)

** 2+ point increase on Deveraux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) pre/post; magnitude of Tscore differences based on Cohen’s d-ratio


Thriving Minds contact:
James Adams, Programs Manager
[email protected] or 469-621-8992

Thriving Minds is a Nation Best-Practice Model

Winner Ribbon

Big Thought was the 2014 recipient of the After-School Innovator Award from the Met Life Foundation, in collaboration with the National Afterschool Alliance.

School Administrators see the Big Value

  • 90% agree that TMAS offers effective academic assistance
  • 94% agree that TMAS compliments and supports campus curriculum
  • 96% agree that TMAS aligns with campus goals and objectives
  • 100% agree that Big Thought is a valued Dallas ISD community partner

Find a Thriving Minds campus near you

Check out our 2019-2020 list of schools to see if your child’s school offers a Thriving Minds program. If we are offering a program at your child’s campus, we would love to have you apply so your child can join the fun!

Not a Thriving Minds program at your campus? You can encourage your school administrators to reach out to James Adams, Senior Manager of Out of School Time Programs, to learn how they can start a program at your child’s campus.

Staff Needed for Fall After School Programs

School is back in session and Thriving Minds After School is delivering great programming to over 800 learners throughout DFW!  The value of what happens between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM during the school year can have a profoundly positive impact on our children’s lives.  We are looking for individuals who are committed to ensuring a positive learning environment for students.  Positions include Enrichment InstructorsSite CoordinatorsSite Guides and Exploration Coaches.

Where and When

Thriving Minds After-School programs take place at schools across Dallas and neighboring cities.  Programming occurs weekdays, Monday through Friday from 3-6pm (some scheduling variations) from mid- to late-August through the end of May/early June.

Current Openings

We are currently hiring part-time Enrichment InstructorsSite CoordinatorsSite Guides and Exploration Coaches for the 2019-2020 school year. Campus locations vary, but we are currently recruiting for East Dallas, Love Field and Garland areas.

Questions? Email [email protected].

Big ThoughtThriving Minds