Alpha Leadership Academy (ALA)
Afterschool Programming for At Risk Elementary Schools
The Achievement Gap
The achievement gap refers to the observed, persistent disparity of educational measures between the performance of groups of students, especially groups defined by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity and gender.
Alpha Leadership Academy (ALA)
We have Identified (12) 2nd grade students would will come each day immediately after school to:
- Complete homework
- Read for fun for 21 min
- Work on their character and mind of a champion (Zest, grit and optimism)
- Practice / play games *
- Eat a nutritious dinner
- Feel surrounded and supported by “Friends of ALA”.
A.L.A. Solution #2:
Alpha Leadership Academy tests Reading and Math skills early and often, instilling a program that keeps our kids on track.
- Poor performance in Math and Reading is the number one reason children get frustrated and fall behind in school.
- At some point, when they can’t keep up with the class, the frustration builds, and they stop caring about their educational performance and learning.
- This is when, statistically, gang activity becomes a solution for failing students.
- ALA understands the importance of education and carries a strong mission to give students confidence in the classroom, through commitment and education, so that they continue to grow in a positive direction.
The Problem: Disconnected Parents
Where parents need help to change:
- The average middle class child with professionals for parents at home hears on average 487 "utterances" per hour.
- In welfare homes, children only hear on average 178 "utterances" per hour.
Speaking differently: This means more positive affirmations:
- By age 3, the average child of a professional hears about:
- 500,000 encouragements and 80,000 discouragements.
- By age 3, the average child growing up on welfare hears about: 75,000 encouragements and 200,000 discouragements
- Parents need to ask their child more questions that make them think.
A.L.A. Solution #3:
Improving the Parent-Child Relationship
Alpha Leadership Academy is creating the necessary change by:
- Working closely with parents allows us to utilize them as virtual employees, carrying ALA's philosophies and programming home, furthering the positive effect of LGTS’s overall education
- Incorporating mandatory monthly parent meetings allows ALA to have a big part in changing the way parents deal with their children
- Improving parent-child relationships may be the single most important thing we can do to improve cognitive skills!
Continuing Parent Education through Alpha Leadership Academy
Through monthly Solutions-Focused Support Meetings ALA accomplishes the following:
- By highlighting the good work that parents are already doing individually, there is a huge opportunity to bring them together: For Example: "There is no perfect parent. However, if we added up the skills in this room, we would collectively have the perfect parent. Therefore, we are here to share what is working with each other".
- Educating parents on the experience of children who attend college, including giving parents very specific examples of college experiences both during and after attending, allows them insight and confidence to support their own children in pursuing higher education.
- Sharing statistical knowledge with facts like "Parental nurturance stimulates the brain's medial temporal lobe, which in turn aids the development of memory skills", opens parents' eyes to how much positive influence they can have on their children everyday.
A.L.A. Solution #4:
Alpha Leadership Academy uses uplifting, positive talk with students in our program.
We pride ourselves on speaking to our students as equals or apprentice adults, who have the power to ask questions, challenge assumptions and negotiate rules.
- Parents, students, and ALA agree to, and sign a contract together as a team. "This is what we agree to do to ensure that your child will go to college..."
- Make allies out of Parents through home visits.
- Everyday our focus will be on FINISHING. We openly talk about "finishing everything at the highest level."
Navigate their own world
- We will constantly be instructing our students to ask for help. For example, our tutor may say, "I bet if you go and ask Tim (board member or friend of LGTS), he can help you with your vowels." Doing so, assists ALA is building knowledge, confidence, and trust with its students.
- Engaging whole families encourages positive behavior both in and out of school settings.