100 Saturday Academy

100-Academy-Logo-RevisedThe goal of the 100 Saturday Academy is to make every student “Responsible, Respectful and Ready to Lead.” This series of Saturday learning opportunities for 3rd through 6th grade students is uniquely designed to help students meet or exceed state academic standards.  Only 12% of African American 4th grade boys are proficient in reading, as opposed to 38% of their White counterparts.  African American males who are not eligible for free or reduced lunches are doing no better than White males who are poor. This report (A Call for Change, by the National Assessment for Education Progress) shows that African American boys on average fall behind in their early years. A study done for the 2008-2009 school year by the Schott Foundation ranked Nebraska among  the tenth lowest performing states for the graduation rates of African American males (40%, as opposed to 83% by their White counterparts).  This made Nebraska one of three Alarming Gap states, New York and Wisconsin being the other two.

Of the students in the 100 Saturday Academy, 95% are North Omaha residents,  90% are on free and reduced lunch, 82% are at or below the poverty level, 80% perform below grade level and 60% have either attendance or behavior issues.

The 100, in collaboration with Title I and Omaha Public Schools established the Saturday Academy specifically for students in the 3rd through 6th grade who have fallen behind, to address the growing educational, cultural, and self-esteem gaps they experience compared to their peers. More specifically, to positively address statistics associated with at-risk low income youth. Needless to say, this has had a direct correlation to drop out rates later on in their education.

Through this learning opportunity, students receive support from certified teachers to master concepts in reading, writing and mathematics. In group settings, activities are developed to strengthen and support the relationships between schools, parents, and students. Students are evaluated with Success Maker, a computer program to identify strengthens. This has served as an excellent evaluation tool to show the initial placement of the student and their progress throughout the year.

Impact

This year last school year, 2015-2016, 155 students were enrolled in the Saturday Academy program, which was a 19% increase from the prior school year. Of these students, 71% were male and 29% were female.

A post parent survey was conducted to help evaluate the program’s effectiveness and the overall satisfaction of parents with the following results:

  • 100% agreed that their child was more confident about their school work
  • 100% agreed that their child’s grades have improved since attending the program
  • 100% of the parents believed the program and staff was supportive and helped their child do better in school
  • 95% agreed that their child showed improvement in reading
  • 95% agreed their child showed improvement in math

Parent Comments:

  • I am extremely grateful to the program especially as a single parent. It gives my son the opportunity to be around positive male role models. This program has motivated my son and has also provided encouragement that was much needed.
  • I am extremely grateful to the program especially as a single parent. It gives my son the opportunity to be around positive male role models. This program has motivated my son and has also provided encouragement that was much needed.
  • I feel that the 100 academy has been an instrumental to my boys. Their school work has improved since they have been attending the 100 academy.  As a parent if we do our part and we all work together then our children can meet their goals and be successful.
  • 100 Black Men is an awesome program to teach mathematics, reading, computer etc. I believe the staff are awesome, and are very dedicated to their job by reaching the lives of kids and teens. “Our children are our future.”
  • This program is one of the single best things that ever happened to my boys. The mentors are a phenomenal positive role model for the children.  I am pleased with the learning activities and entertainment programs provided for the children.  I am truly grateful for everything that the 100 Black Men of Omaha do to encourage the success of youth of Omaha, Nebraska.

The following parental testimonies speak to these results:

Parent Testimonials  

“My daughter was almost failing math when she started Saturday Academy and by the second time progress reports came out she had a B+.” Amanda M.

“My son made honor roll for the first time ever!” Jon L.

“My son has made an awesome comeback, and I am truly proud of him.  Since his aunt’s unexpected death he has used that to motivate him to make honor-roll at his school.  I am so proud of Jae’don, he is leader, a helper and an all-around good young man.  Thank you 100.” Faith Y.

“Tariq has started to come out of his shell.  He is happier and loves to now walk-up to people look them in the eyes and shake their hand.  He has been on the honor roll since the end of last school year (his first year in the Saturday Academy), and the start of this school year. The Saturday Academy has really helped Tariq come out of his shell and improve his grades. Thank you 100 Black Men of Omaha.” LaFrenga R.

 “Natalia is strong willed and stubborn but eager to start and learn new things.  She likes that the Saturday Academy’s teachers because they give her one-on-one help and don’t mind explaining things to her that she does not understand.  She likes working on math where she needs the most attention.  I want to thank Central Park, her teachers, principal and the 100 Saturday Academy for their support.  Please continue to the good work.” LaFrenga R.   

 “I want to again thank the 100 Black Men of Omaha for putting this program together for our youth. I have seen growth and maturity in my son both intellectually and academically! His grades in both math and reading have increased! Yes, the program does work. Keep up the good work: as it does take a village and all members of that village to keep our youth and future leaders on the path to success. Thanks again and I/we appreciate you and all you do.” Kevin M.

 “After attending the 100 Saturday Academy; my daughter Artavia showed improvement in math.  When she started the program she had an “F” in math, but when she finished the program she had a “C.”  Her overall confidence improved when completing math assignments independently.  I wish she could have attended more sessions, but her other weekend activities really prevented her from the full benefit of the program.  I am not sure if evening sessions throughout the school year would be an option, but I think this may help a lot of families who have busy home schedules.  Either way, I greatly appreciate Artavia having the opportunity to participate in your program.  Thank you.” Janelle B.

 

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