Currently, in our second year, we serve 30 fifth and sixth grade students. All our students are from two elementary schools: Greenlee Elementary and Stedman Elementary (96% and 86% reduced and free lunches, respectively). Our sixth grade students currently attend six middle schools. We provide daily transportation from their current schools and return them to their families at their original grade schools. Our students are nominated by their fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teachers, the school resource specialist, and their respective principals. We follow-up with an extensive interview process with the students and their families.
Our primary focus is improving academic achievement. However, we approach achievement of our ultimate goal from a number of modalities, which include: intensive academic tutoring directed and supervised by experienced, committed educators; forging character development; building leadership skills; promoting critical thinking; providing opportunities to serve others; encouraging entrepreneurship; and training by champions in up to twenty sports for life. Academic research indicates that each of these modalities help children’s brain develop in myriad ways that enable them to enhance their individual academic achievement.
Jisel Vazquez’s Journey
We would love to share with you one of our many success stories. When Jisel Vazquez came to DAA from Greenlee Elementary near the Lincoln Projects, she was a shy, wall flower who was a good girl but struggled with her social and academic confidence and was self-conscious about her physical appearance. Through her six year participation with our DAA family she is now earning a 3.5+ GPA, and is working hard over the summer to contribute to the success of her West High School basketball team. Jisel states that, “DAA has given me the strength to persevere and push myself to improve both in school and in basketball. My education wouldn’t be the same without Miss Cindy, Mr. Simon, and DAA.”