Student Athlete Initiative | City of Ideas

Posted 11/27/2012 by Collaborate Boston Application

Issue to be Addressed:
Each day, 180 black and brown boys between the ages of 9 and 15 travel from Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan to attend school in Allston-Brighton’s two largest K-8 schools: Jackson-Mann (JMS) and Thomas A. Edison (EMS).  Nearly half travel to the West End House (WEH) after school, and others turn to their respective schools for out-of-school time programming.  The vast majority of these boys and young men need additional academic support outside of the school day.

The WEH proposes to implement an academic success program in collaboration with JMS and EMS to positively impact on-grade progression rates in these schools among brown and black boys with the additional benefit of increasing access to organized athletic opportunities. 

Youth at-risk of dropping out of school can be identified as early as fourth grade, based on three key indicators: attendance, behavior and course failure.  Participation on athletic teams has been shown to have a positive impact on youth’s academic performance – the LA Unified School District recently found that its 35,000 student-athletes attended school 21 days more and boasted GPAs that were .55 to .74 higher than their non-athlete classmates. Many of the collaboration’s target population are academically ineligible to play on school teams.

Project Proposed:
With a $100,000 grant from Collaborate Boston, the WEH, JMS and EMS will provide comprehensive year-round academic support coupled with organized athletic opportunities for the targeted group of boys and young men.  The WEH will employ two part-time Academic Coaches who will work directly in JMS and EMS to assist targeted boys and young men improve their academic standing and become eligible for organized team sports.  Additionally, Academic Coaches will work with teachers and administrators to identify and engage black and brown boys most in need of additional support in a Boys Group based off the 10 Boys initiative in Boston Public Schools; these Boys Groups will focus on providing additional social and emotional support to help young men of color.  The Academic Coaches will work directly in the schools Monday through Thursday, and in the WEH on Fridays. 

The resulting improved academic standing of the targeted boys will have life-long implications and, in the short-term, will lead to greater eligibility for organized athletic team participation, with teams being coached by the Academic Coaches.  In the summer months, Academic Coaches will lead revitalized organized summer athletic leagues as well as Boys Groups for targeted black and brown boys.

Role of Collaboration:
The WEH will serve as the lead agency, responsible for coordinating with JMS and EMS to ensure the collaboration will achieve the following goals:
-Provide homework help and tutoring for at least 150 targeted boys and young men
-Ensure at least 100 targeted boys and young men achieve on-time grade progression
-Expand organized athletic offerings to year-round
-Introduce Boys Groups for targeted boys and young men

JMS and EMS will be responsible for identifying and targeting black and brown boys between the ages of 9 and 15 residing in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan who are academically ineligible for athletic teams; JMS and EMS will also be responsible for identifying boys most in need of additional social and emotional support through Boys Groups.  The WEH will employ two part-time Academic Coaches to work directly in JMS and EMS Monday through Thursday, and lead programs at the WEH each Friday for these targeted boys.  Through these Academic Coaches, the WEH will track the progress of the targeted boys and young men to ensure they are improving their grades.  The WEH will also be responsible for all summer programming, including academic enrichment, organized athletic leagues and Boys Groups.

A Collaborate Boston prize would enable the WEH, JMS and EMS to provide comprehensive, year-round academic support programs for black and brown boys residing in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.  This will advance a partnership that has existed since 2011, when the WEH began to work with both schools to improve the academic outcomes of young people at-risk of dropping out of school.  Last year, this partnership engaged 53 youth – 51 youth achieved on-time grade progression.

A grant from Collaborate Boston would enable the WEH, JMS and EMS to extend a successful partnership to specifically target black and brown boys between the ages of 9 and 15 residing in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.  Deepening the partnership among these three agencies will provide comprehensive, year-round programming focused on improving academic performance and developing life skills, as well as adding a school-based athletic component to strengthen the school community and ensure that boys are attending school to be eligible to play.  With academic success and emotional growth at the forefront, this collaboration will create lifelong opportunities for these boys. The side benefit of additional athletic opportunities also supports a fundamental pillar of WEH programming around health and wellness for young people.

Other information:
The WEH provides outcomes-driven programs to Boston youth residing in the most underserved neighborhoods, including Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.  Each day, young people living in these neighborhoods travel across town to the WEH for high-impact programs that provide opportunities in critical areas of youth development, ensuring that young people most in need are succeeding academically, exploring the arts, developing career readiness skills, and adopting healthy lifestyles.  The WEH measures the impact of these programs through the WISDOM tool (WEH Internal System for Developmental Outcomes Measurement), which includes two evidence-based tools: SAYO, and Check and Connect from the University of Minnesota.  Through ongoing outcomes measurement, the WEH knows the impact of year-round academic programs: 90% of elementary students have progressed to reading at grade level; 85% of high school freshman at-risk of dropping out of school are on-track to graduate; and 96% of seniors graduated high school in 2012 and 92% are enrolled in college today.  A Collaborate Boston prize would enable the WEH to expand these successful academic support programs to reach black and brown boys residing in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.

Primary Contact:
Andrea Howard has more than twenty years experience in the field of youth development. She has served at the executive level for seventeen years in Boys & Girls Clubs, with her prior position as the founding Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, Florida. Andrea returned to her hometown of Boston in 1999 when she was named Executive Director at the West End House Boys & Girls Club, and then focused her efforts on revitalizing the hundred-year old organization. During her tenure at the West End House, she has led a $7.5 million capital campaign to renovate and expand the building, strengthened leadership by recruiting new Board members, secured financial resources that grew the endowment from $400,000 to $2.5M, reengaged West End House alumni to provide financial support, and implemented a strategic plan to better serve youth and families. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern Alabama. She has participated in LeadBoston and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Music and Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides after-school music education and enrichment programs.

Partner 1:
Mary Driscoll has been the Principal at the Thomas A. Edison K-8 School in Brighton, MA since 2008.  Her prior experience includes serving as Assistant Principal/Director of instruction at Mildred Avenue Middle School in Mattapan, MA, and Lead Teacher for Mathematics at Chelsea Public Schools.  Mary holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Art from Cornell University, and a Master of Education in Math and Science Education from Harvard University.  Mary has also participated in the Instructional Leadership Institute hosted by Boston Public Schools.

Partner 2:
Andrew Tuite joined the Jackson-Mann K-8 School as Principal in 2010.  His prior experience includes serving as Principal of the Solomon Lewenberg Middle School in Mattapan and Secondary Mathematics Program Director for the Boston Public Schools.  Andrew also worked in Brockton Public Schools as guidance counselor, math teacher, and instructional resource specialist. Andrew holds a Master of Arts in Education/Counseling from Bridgewater State College and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Stonehill College, and is an alumnus of the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College.

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