Nonprofit aims to boost middle school achievement
There's a new educational nonprofit in town, but this time it has an interesting angle. Higher Achievement, founded in Washington, D.C., has expanded to Baltimore and is attempting to give middle school students academic help and mentoring so that they can make it into the city's best college prep high schools.
I will be writing more about this in the weeks to come, but the group has already recruited about 125 students in the neighborhoods around two schools: Collington Square in East Baltimore and Ashburton in West Baltimore. The students have been attending a summer school and will begin an after-school program in the fall. The after-school program runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. four days a week. Not only do the students get dinner and do their homework, mentor volunteers from the community come from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The organization is still recruiting mentors, but it hopes to have enough in place by September.
Higher Achievement isn't attempting to attract the students who are about to drop out or at the highest risk of failure. Instead, the group is concentrating on the middle, the students who might be successful with the right support; in other words, the students who might get lost.
Students who participated in the program in D.C. have increased their grades in math and English and have better attendance.