According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress Report…
- 67% of all 4th grade students read below proficiency.
- 69% of all 8th grade students read below proficiency.
- 64% of all 12th grade students read below proficiency.
According to James Wendorf, Executive Director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, every area of school curriculum depends on the ability to read fluently. It is the “gateway skill” that leads to success both academically and professionally.
As students enter middle school and recognize they have fallen behind, they often tend to show signs of what we call “Academic Shut-Down” (ASD). These signs include…
- Loss of hope in their personal ability to close the achievement gap.
- Disbelief that the education system can lead to future success.
- Lack of concern for today’s decisions leading to tomorrow’s outcomes.
In a middle grade classroom of 28 students, it is now common to have 8-15 students displaying symptoms of ASD. These students typically begin searching for ways to mask their academic inaptitude and often become extremely difficult for even the most skilled teachers to handle.
It becomes nearly impossible for a school to score in the 70-90th percentile on standardized testing when there is a large population of students experiencing Academic Shut-Down.
This problem can be solved!
- Self-Image Building: According to Dr. Lyon, Branch Chief of The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, “Poor reading produces a perception of stupidity and dumbness to peers and clearly to the youngster who is struggling.” This self-perception marks the start of what we call “Academic Shut-Down” (ASD). Through a series of Character Education programs and activities we rebuild the self-image of struggling students. With renewed, positive self-images students regain confidence in their inherent ability to close the achievement gap.
- Language and Literacy Development: Reading is the “gateway skill” that leads to success both academically and professionally. The Carnegie Corporation states 35% of all American children enter school unprepared to succeed. This means over one-third of the student population start school with poor language and literacy skills. With reading proficiency being the heart of the issue, every activity is carefully crafted around reading comprehension to foster language and literacy development. This approach provides students with the opportunity to develop a command of the tools necessary to achieve academic and social success.
- Life Skills Training: Circle Urban Ministries works with teens to identify their natural talents and prepare a plan to capitalize on those talents. Students learn socioeconomic development strategies; the correlations between financial literacy and education; the 5 key steps to getting better grades and much more. Teens who were once struggling in school are empowered with the confidence, motivation, knowledge, tools and discipline necessary to maximize their potential.
Taught by a trained staff, Circle Urban Ministries runs research-based, age-appropriate programs and activities to provide students with…
- – Social and Emotional learning
- – Life Skills
- – Language and literacy concepts
- – College Preparation
All programming is based on the following 5 Core Factors which are research-based indicators of student success:
- Academic rigor
- Development of College and Career aspirations
- Parental involvement and knowledge about College and Career readiness
- Social and cultural support (peer, family, mentor)
- Access to College and Career information (for students and parents)
Our approach is threefold:
- to inspire students to adopt positive, post-secondary aspirations for education and careers,
- to support students academically to ensure their ongoing matriculation toward high school and college, and
- to provide practical assistance to students and their parents to ensure their transition to selective enrollment high schools and post-secondary institutions.
“Pray! And listen to God! You can do this alone, but find somebody to do it with you”
In this program our staff partner with local middle schools (Howe, Spencer, Lewis, Catalyst & DePriest.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the children) to Enrich (the children’s lives) to Empower (the children to do great things) to Direct (the children toward positive choices.) We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 children about self-esteem, positive choices, finding opportunities and overcoming obstacles.
In this program our staff partner with local high schools (Proser, Foreman & Austin.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the teens) to Enrich (the teens’ lives) to Empower (the teens to do great things) to Direct (the teens toward positive choices.) We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 teens about self-esteem, positive choices, finding opportunities and overcoming obstacles.
In this program our staff partner with local high schools (Proser, Foreman & Austin.) Circle stands on 4 pillars in this program to Sow (into the teens) to Enrich (the teens’ lives) to Empower (the teens to do great things) to Direct (the teens toward positive choices.) We come into the schools on their lunch break and work with a select 40 juniors and seniors preparing them for adulthood. Each month has a different theme for discussion.
- March – Checking, Savings, Investing
- April – Career Readiness (interviewing and career guest speakers)
- May – Last of Career speakers
- September – Goal Setting successfully
- October– Credit Advisor (Credit scores, bad credit and good credit)
- November – Know your Rights Housing addition
- January – Know your Rights common occurrences
- February – Knowing accredited colleges and trade school
Schedule Sundays 4:00pm-6:00pm. Bibles and basketball is a small scripture group where the teens have a chance to take scriptures and apply it to real life situation. Once scripture group is over the teens then play a game of basketball supporting physical activity and teamwork.
Schedule Mon, Wed, Thur. from 4:30-7:00pm. This program is designed to build self-confidence, develop character, inspire academic excellence and cultivate leadership skills. Teens are exposed to critical thinking skills, life impact strategies in decision making and equip them with the tools to maintain/sustain character and integrity.