Mattahunt Boys Academy | City of Ideas

Posted 12/12/2012 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
Jackie Jenkins-Scott, president of Wheelock College stated “Black males face an inordinate number of problems and hardship. These challenges set them apart from the rest of the U.S. population and deserve attention.” Phillip Jackson of the, Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel in his article on The Massive Failure of Black Males in the American Education System stated “Empty words become an unnecessary diversion from one of the worst educational and economic catastrophes to ever confront America. Either we will get into action to solve this problem, or we will watch multiple generations of young Black males become expendable in our society, and literally perish from our communities and our nation.”  Studies confirm this tragic reality and the call to act has become a moral and social imperative. This is the impetus that has spurred the idea of the MBA. The submission for the MBA is to have a deliberate focus on the achievement of our black males in order to redirect their educational trajectory.The Mattahunt data tells us that in 5th grade only 59% has reached proficiency and in 4th grade 48% has reached proficiency. Out of the 40 boys in the MBA most of the students range from 2 to17 points away from reaching proficient on the MCAS.

Project Proposed:
One of the most proven and effective method is to offer a caring and responsible adult role model who can have a positive lasting impression on a child. The Mattahunt Boys Academy (MBA) is a gender specific mentoring program whose targeted population is 4th and 5th grade boys with the age range of 9-13. The MBA program focuses is on educational achievement and social and emotional development in order to move the targeted students toward a goal of 90% proficiency. The design of the MBA is a 4 tier mentoring program which includes 5 adult male head mentors, 10 college male mentors, 10 high school mentors and 5 middle school mentors who were prior graduates of the MBA,
The programmatic design of the MBA is a Power 24 intensive academic tutoring program two days a week focusing on supporting reading and math instruction for proficiency on the MCAS. A Power Luncheon once a week with male mentors for academic and social/emotional development check-ins. A bi-weekly Saturday Brotherhood Mentoring session where students participate in: goal setting, Journal writing, non-traditional learning activities, enrichment activities, and social/emotional development. An in school advocacy component and environmental educational component

Role of Collaboration:
A significant component of the MBA is to develop partnerships with families and the community to garner resources that will solidify the achievement of our young black males in the MBA program. The objective is to reach out to businesses, community agencies and neighbors in our local area of Boston to recruit mentors, develop support systems, provide nontraditional educational opportunities and exposure to cultural events and resources for our young black males and their families. The partners are Mattahunt School who will provide academic support and training. Jubiilee Church which will recruit mentors for the program. SCA Student Conservation Association who will provide environmental education through BOOYA a Youth ambassador program in the urban wildswetlands.PACE who will provide an inschool advocacy and respect program for MBA boys and Wheelock College who will provide professional development for mentors/tutors

As challenges facing America’s youth continue to increase, society must develop creative strategies and programs to counteract the steady stream of negative influences that children face each day.  A collaboration of a school, faithbased organization, college, environmental organization and a small nonprofit cultural organization working toward a single focus to ensure the academic and social and emotional achievement of young black males is an recipe for success. Receiving the Collaborate Boston Prize would allow MBA to build a strong collaboration, solidify its program components, maintain mentors/tutors, provide a voice for the youth, become a model for replication across the school system, enhance the academic component and provide opportunities for the boys to be exposed to opportunities not readily available to them. In the end we would have moved them toward proficiency and developing a self-identity toward achievement resulting in the boys having a better sense of self, a voice, a stronger relationship to community and a greater sense of their academic identity.

Other information:
MBA was started 2 years ago and soully funded by a small amount of funding from the school. The remaining bare bones budget was donated by the staff and community members invested in providing an alternative solution to guiding our 4th and 5th grade black boys toward reaching academic and social and emotional success. With the school being designated as a Turn Around school by the State it is more evident that MBA must  continue to exist and be refined to ensure further success of our young black males.

Primary Contact:
Donna Lashus
Mattahunt Elementary School
Community Parnerships/MBA Coordinator
An educator with over 20 years of experience in education, family and community engagement, advocacy and youth development.

Partner 1:
Chris Sumner
Jubiilee Church
Executive Pastor/Head mentor for MBA
Community activist with experience in upward bound programs, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boston Police Foundation board and Board member of Children's Hospital.

Partner 2:
Bowanda Owens
Executive Director of PACE Pan African Cultural Education
A small nonprofit cultural organization that has demonstrated strong successful partnerships in two Boston Public School. There Men on the Rise Program has been successful in the Young Achievers middle school.

Partner 3:
Donere Johnson
Northeast Regional Program Manager for Student Conservation Association
A National Conservation Organization thats been in existence for 53 years working in communities on public lands. Ms. Johnson has over 10 years experience in environmental education and youth development.

Partner 4:
Jackie Jenkins Scott
Wheelock College
A well known educational insitution developing learning opportunities in underepresent communities.
Ms. Jenkins Scott has a vast amount of exeperience working in organizations to support community growth, health, education and families.

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