At Viking Middle School, we strive to achieve excellence in education. We have students who need extra assistance with their academics along with the technology to complete assignments; such as computers and reference materials. Viking Middle School has a program called ASCEND (After School Center for Educational and Natural Development) that has been a tremendous asset for these students. We find that students are much more likely to make positive choices regarding their academics if given the chance. This program provides a positive, healthy environment to participate in after school. The mission of the ASCEND program is to strengthen, as well as develop students’ academic, personal, emotional and social skills. Four days a week, a certified staff member meets with up to ten students from 3:10 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. We utilize different criteria for entrance into this program. This is based on academic performance, behavioral indicators, and teacher/parent recommendations. The ASCEND program is in its 12th year of existence at Viking Middle School. We would like to thank the First Bank of Baldwin, United Way St. Croix Valley and Target for their generous donations.