The goal of the Academy is to help at-risk and low-income Denver youth graduate from high school and college. Local educators work with youth in grades 4 through 12 for three weeks each summer to develop leadership, critical thinking, teamwork and conflict resolution skills. High school students are supported throughout the year by an education liaison who tracks students’ academic achievement, leadership roles, service activities, college prep courses, achievement test scores and applications to colleges. By helping these at-risk youth develop the skills and aspiration to complete college, the Academy is replacing poverty with the opportunities a college education affords. In 2011-12, the Academy served 134 students.
STEM: Decreasing the Achievement Gap
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
For the second year the Academy has implemented a science and math curriculum. The director and instructors felt it was in the best interest of the students to increase their exposure to math and science. This will help decrease the achievement gap, particularly for girls and students of color, so that they can compete with students around the country and become global thinkers. This year, students studied how animals and humans have evolved, and were challenged to question history, change, and the impact global development has on our everyday lives.
Students receiving feedback on collaborative classroom work.
Life Skills and Enrichment Courses
To understand the importance of school, college, and beyond, students must be equipped with certain life skills. Becoming financially literate at a young age allows students to be better equipped to deal with a host of choices in the future. Topics and concepts in this class include credit, budgeting, and saving.
Additionally, PBLA believes in educating the entire child and provides instruction in the arts and physical education in addition to communication and computer skills training.
Students completing artwork in summer classes.