St. Augustine High School was awarded funding from the Mission & Ministry, Inc., a ministry of the Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise to address the gap that exists in academic achievement for minority boys before they are ready to enter high school. The grant, which will be funded over a three-year period, will focus on minority boys beginning in the fourth grade, ensuring they receive the academic and social skills necessary for achievement at high academic levels.
Academic achievement gaps by ethnicity and socioeconomic classes remain large and persistent in our nation and the disparities have been steady for many decades. The St. Augustine Academy for Gifted Boys will identify boys with talent in mathematics, science, art, and music beginning in the fifth grade and involve them in after-school, Saturday, and summer enrichment classes and programs for a 3-year period, until the students enter high school.
“Since its founding in 1951, St. Augustine High School has been a leader in ensuring that African American males were academically prepared to be successful in college and in life,” said St. Augustine President and CEO, Kenneth St. Charles, Ph.D. “We are excited to work with minority boys who are underrepresented among our country’s highest achieving students due in large part to their not receiving the same academic opportunities and resources as their peers. We are eternally grateful to Mission and Ministry, Inc. and the Daughters of Charity for their dedication and unwavering support as together we ensure that deserving minority and financially disadvantaged students are able to reach their full academic potential.”
The goals and expected outcomes of the program include preparing program participants to be successful in advanced honors courses, raising their expectations regarding grade attainment, increasing the level and quantity of extracurricular reading, improving test-taking skills, increasing self-confidence regarding challenging coursework, and leveling the playing field as it relates to exposure to higher education and cultural opportunities.
“The Academy for Gifted Boys provides assistance for gifted students that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate,” said Mission and Ministry Executive Director Mary Wildeman. “This aligns with MMI’s mission of assisting those in need.”
The program will also boldly confront a major mitigating factor of high achievement known as “fewness”, which occurs when minority students are reluctant to be placed in gifted programs because they find themselves as one of only a few minority students.
The application period for the Academy for Gifted Boys is now open. Classes begin in the Fall with all instructional activities conducted on the historic St. Augustine High School campus.
For more information or to apply call 504-944-2424 or email Areah R. Bocage, St. Augustine Gifted Academy, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.