Thursday, 28 October 2010 06:12
The Children’s Aid Society has received a $100,000 grant from the Black Male Donor Collaborative (BMDC) in support of the agency’s African American Male Initiative (AAMI).
The African American Male Initiative, now entering its fourth year, provides young Black males with the supports needed to achieve educational success, and become happy, healthy, productive adults. The program starts with the Steps to Success Initiative, in which groups of Black second-grade boys receive life coaching, a cultural academy, academic support and exposure to Everyday Heroes (role models). Their parents receive supports as well.
The results of this program have been extremely positive. A three-year independent evaluation conducted by Columbia University found:
* 100% of the boys have been promoted to the next grade in school each year;
* Program boys’ rates of lateness and school absence showed significant declines between the first and second program year;
* Not one boy received a score of 1 (“demonstrates serious academic difficulties”) on State ELA and Math tests after two years in the program;
* The boys reported feeling significantly closer to their friends upon completion of each year in the program. And, despite challenges, the boys reported feeling significantly closer to their fathers from the first to second year in the program.
“We are honored by the support of the Black Male Donor Collaborative,” said Richard Buery, President and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society. “With the right supports, including quality education and extended services, we know that African Americans can achieve at the highest levels and lead more productive and successful lives. Our program is small, but with its positive outcomes, it can serve as an example of the kind of intensive supports that make a difference in the lives of Black male students.”
BMDC funding will enable the AAMI program to expand its services and supports to Black male students in several ways. We will intensify individualized academic assessment and support by expanding the academic coordinator’s role. Children’s Aid will implement a health promotion and disease prevention curriculum to proactively address health barriers that disproportionately affect Black males by expanding the Saturday Academy to include a health curriculum. It will also combat summer learning loss by extending the Saturday academy into the summer.
“The Black Male Donor Collaborative has made a deliberate decision to invest in programs and/or initiatives that are research based, scalable and have measureable indicators of success in the academic lives of Black Boys,” said Nicole Sharpe, director of the BMDC. “The BMDC realized immediately that the AAMI Steps to Success Program was one of the model programs providing excellent academic and personal enrichment to the young boys enrolled. We are excited to invest our resources in Steps to Success and are encouraged by the expansion opportunities for the impact the program has had on the boys and their families thus far, is significant.”