Kudos: Children ‘aim high’

Academic program saluted for effectiveness

Aim High, a program serving Bay Area children, has received a 2008 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from Johns Hopkins University.

The award recognizes summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive development in young people.

Aim High currently serves nearly 1,000 middle-schoolers. The five-week program, which began June 30 this year, includes math, science and humanities classes in the mornings and arts, cultural and sports activities in the afternoons. Discussions of issues take place in between.

Designed to prevent a gap in learning during the summer break (a factor linked to low scholastic achievement), the 1980s-born free program operates at 12 sites in low-income neighborhoods in San Francisco, Oakland, East Palo Alto and Redwood City. Students participate for three or four summers.

Eighty-five percent of students report that their grade point averages have remained the same or risen since they have attended Aim High. The vast majority of Aim High graduates complete high school on time and attend college.

“Receiving this award is a wonderful honor for Aim High and a tribute to our 23-year track record of success,” says Alec Lee, the program’s executive director. Lee credits an “extensive and devoted community of families teachers and supporters” when describing Aim High’s success.

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