In order to break the cycle of poverty in Maury County, Boys & Girls Clubs work tirelessly to ensure that all youth served remain on track to graduate high school on time by providing the tools they need to succeed. Research has shown that students who could not read on grade level by the end of their third grade year were four times more likely to drop out of high school. In 2019, only 24.4% of Maury County students were performing at or above grade level. This rate drops significantly to 13.7% for Black, Hispanic, and Native American students, and 13.1% for economically disadvantaged students. Club staff and volunteers understand that the drop out cycle begins at a very young age, which is in part why we work especially hard to educate and support our youngest members.
“Students who have lived in poverty are 3 times more likely to drop out …For minority students, the combined effect of poverty and poor third grade reading skills makes the rate 8 times greater.” Annie E. Casey Foundation
To ensure Academic Success for all members, we created an award-winning Academic Case Management Program. This program combines:
- Weekly one-on-one tutoring by certified teachers
- Individualized case management using real-time academic and attendance data obtained through partnership with Maury County Public Schools
- Weekly communication plan that connects tutors with parents, teachers, and Club staff to get everyone on the same page to help each child succeed
- Daily homework help and innovative software programs that drill core skills like reading and math
This program has demonstrated a very successful track record. Thanks to our 2016 expansion into the schools, 172 members received this intensive case management last school year. During the 2018-2019 school year, 70% of kids in the program improved their GPA from Q1 to Q4, 93% improved in at least one core subject, 92% scored an 18 or higher on the Future Aspirations survey (indicating a high level of career aspirations of positive goals for their future), and 100% percent progressed on time to the next grade level!
Based on academic data and demographics in under-served communities, we estimate that approximately 600 of our 1,200 youth will need to be enrolled in this program.
Additionally, this plan will sustain and grow our college access and career preparation programs. Through targeted curriculum, college tours, financial aid workshops, mock interview training, and more, members receive individualized coaching through the choices of college, careers and planning for their futures.
In 2019, our organization received a Program Honor Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of America for the best academic program in the nation. This program has also been recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee with Program Excellence Awards for having the top academic success program in the state in 2014, 2017, and 2018.
As a result of the Academic Case Management Program, 100% of Club seniors have graduated high school on time since the Club was founded in 1999.
In order to combat summer learning loss for our members, we implement a fun and exciting hands-on learning program called Summer Brain Gain. Summer Brain Gain adds engaging, educational activities to Boys & Girls Clubs’ summer programs experience. Weekly, project-based learning modules feature themes such as architecture, the environment, and outer space.