Why Add An Academic Component To STS?

Learning Gaps are the reason we are doing IMAGINE Community Academy

Learning gap refers to the relative performance of individual students—i.e., the disparity between what a student has actually learned and what he or she was expected to learn at a particular age or grade level.

One of the more consequential outcomes of learning gaps is their tendency, if left unaddressed, to compound over time and become more severe and pronounced, which can increase the chances that a student will struggle academically and socially or drop out of school. In addition, if foundational academic skills—such as reading, writing, and math, as well as social and interpersonal skills—are not acquired by students early on in their education, it may be more difficult for them to learn these foundational skills later on.

Avoiding the Academic Brick Wall

Even as middle-schoolers, the youth we serve are already on perilous trajectories toward gangs, drugs, prison, prostitution, teen pregnancy, and unemployment, because they were continually promoted without adequate reading comprehension and basic math skills. The closer they get to high school the wider become their learning gaps and the more likely they will hit an Academic Brick Wall if we do not nudge their trajectories towards paths of personal growth and learning.

This is why our efforts are aimed at closing the learning gaps for fatherless and high risk youth. Together with your tangible support these children will avoid a life of government entitlement by enjoying a life of academic empowerment.

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Why Include Girls in STS?

More than one occasion I have been asked: “Why are we now including girls in an organization that has historically mentored fatherless boys?”

My reply:

Our vision must grow to include more than mentoring fatherless boys, and it must become greater than delivering a globally educated workforce. Our goal must expand to empower children, both boys, and girls, to realize their value and potential that begins to erase the real and imagined boundaries in their lives and to support them in the pursuit of their dreams.

To accomplish this, every staff member, mentor, and volunteer must be intentional with connecting their efforts to the grand and eternal purpose for every child’s life. And today we have a beautiful opportunity to provide a critical infusion of support aimed at changing and empowering the lives of precious children as demonstrated in this short 16-second video.

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