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Education

Real Men Giving Real Time®

In 2010, several nationally known surveys (The Schott Report, Children's Defense Fund, etc.) indicating that children across the United States are achieving below their grade level; with an egregious number being significantly below their grade level highlighted the need for immediate action.

This need for action is especially significant for Las Vegas as we observe that many of the children enrolling in our schools, especially in the North Las Vegas area, are achieving below their grade level. Depending on their age and grade, they are anywhere from 2-4 grades below where they should be. It's a gap in learning that must be addressed. It's no surprise that many of the same kids with poor reading skills, math skills, science skills, and weak cognitive skills often turn out to be the children who cause most of the disruptions in the classroom and bring down the overall test scores for the schools. Our goal is to expand programs that help turn this around.

In response the 100 is expanding its "Making Math and Science Fun" program. The focus of this program is to get more children to understand the need for Math and Science and implement innovative methods (tutoring, experiential learning, robotics, etc.) to make math and science more desirable and fun.

Extracurricular help in the form of tutoring is required. We primarily approach this need from two directions:

  • In-House tutoring - this is where a formal tutoring program is established in every school we mentor. Teachers from the various schools are used and paid as tutors.

  • Outsourced tutoring - this is where we use outside companies to provide tutoring.

This year we are able to provide our kids with outsourced tutoring through the 21st Century Foundation in partnership with the Urban League.

Where are we today?

The role of the Education Committee has evolved over the last two years. We are supporting projects that validate our engagement with the students we mentor and the 100 Academy of Excellence charter school. That means developing evidenced-based data that can tell us how effective our programs are at impacting academic outcomes of the students we serve. Ideally, we want them to come to school ready to learn and develop into independent learners who are excited about education. Close collaboration with the school leaders, community, and 100 Black Men mentors are improving student outcomes every day.

100 Academy of Excellence

The Education Committee has committed and pledged our resources to promoting the long term sustainability of the 100 Academy of Excellence and students. The 2010 school year has signaled a renewed commitment to the school by selecting a new leader and principal with an extraordinary background in education. Peggy Selma came out of retirement as a former Assistant Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District and successful principal. In addition, Shawn Smith, retired Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, and 100 Black Men of Las Vegas Mentoring committee chair and board member is the assistant principal.

They have worked hard this year to establish an academic success model designed to help the students exceed expectations. Principal Selma hired a new team of licensed and proven veteran teachers to give the students a rich academic experience. A strong commitment to teacher development is now in place. The training is equipping the teachers with great strategies to use to help their students achieve academic excellence. A new baseline has been established this year of student academic performance. The data will serve as the basis for instructional improvements for the new school year and will lead to achieving Annual Yearly Progress goals. The school received the second highest award at the National Imagine Schools Forum this summer for Academic Achievement.

Where do we go from here?

The recent performance should position the 100 Academy of Excellence well for capacity building in the next school year. The summer campaign to increase capacity at the school has resulted in an astounding seventy-five percent new student enrollment projected for 2011 and 2012 school year. This year we established the 100 Academy Foundation and obtained 501(c) (3) tax exempt status. The goal is to support the financial sustainability of the school through fund-raising, grants, donations, and future scholarship awards for college-bound mentees. We are very proud of the leadership and progress at our school. We also realize that the key to lasting student academic success requires a cradle to post-college commitment.

How we measure Education success?

  • Begin with a comprehensive needs assessment

  • Work to close learning gaps by differentiating the instructional program

  • Compare incoming learning gains to outgoing learning gains

  • Continue to assess all student's progress by using the following

    • Benchmark Assessments

    • Quarterly student progress reports

    • Semester grades

    • Formal testing

    • Informal testing

    • Input from parents

  • Make any changes or adjustments to the curriculum as needed

  • Infuse technology into the instructional program by providing software that challenges and motivates students.

  • The music program now includes instrumental and choral music. Spanish is being taught to upper elementary students and the middle school.

Highlights and successful programs participated in by the Education Committee

Recently, the top educator in the Clark County School District, Superintendent Dwight Jones, visited the 100 Academy of Excellence for a luncheon with the 100 Black Men. He was given a tour of the school and visited summer school classrooms.

Educational Scholarships

In collaboration with Ronald McDonald House and Cox Communications, over the past ten (10) years we have provided in excess of 75 academic scholarships to students from all walks of life and from all over the Las Vegas valley. In fact, in January 2011 at our For the Love of a Child 10th Anniversary Celebration, we awarded fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) in scholarships to six (6) local high school students.

Annual Scholarship Workshop

Additionally, in collaboration with NV Energy (Powerful Partnership Scholarship) and The Public Education Foundation we have held a Scholarship Workshop. The workshop was designed to inform high school seniors on how to complete scholarship applications, raise awareness of the availability of local scholarships and teach students and their parents the key elements of successful applications. According to NV Energy, there have been a record number of applications submitted this year.

Awards

The Chapter and its members continue to receive awards and accolades. Recognition has come from the community as a whole, schools, teachers, parents, and the kids for the work we do and the help we provide in the educational and tutoring areas.

In large part for its efforts in the educational arena, the Las Vegas Chapter has won the coveted 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Chapter of the Year Award twice. This award signifies the dedication and effectiveness of our work as compared to 116 Chapters internationally. Additionally, one of the most prestigious awards we received was from the Clark County School District. The school district recognized our mentoring and educational efforts with an Excellence in Education Award. The award hangs today at the Clark County School District Headquarters Building on their Education Wall of Fame.