Summer program helping African American students succeed in the classroom

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 2:25 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Organizer say more than three dozen young African American students are on the path towards high math achievement thanks to a summer program.

Students are taking part in 100 Black Men of Central Virginia’s M-Cubed Summer Math Academy at the Community Lab School.

“I love the diversity,” student Lamar Watson said Monday, June 20. “The teachers are really nice.”

Lamar says this is his second year in the program.

“It is a privilege to be here, because not every kid gets to do this,” the student said.

“We initiated this program in 2009 because at Albemarle County Public Schools there was only one African-American male enrolled in eligible algebra-ready this program, meaning that that student was getting prepared for algebra by eighth grade.” founding President Doctor Bernard Hairston said.

Beyond academics, this 10-day program is giving students the confidence to learn and ask questions.

“These two young men who are standing behind me, they both started in this program as sixth graders,” Hairston said. “They are leaders within their schools. They are modeling what they see is what they will be.”

Rising ninth graders Isaiah Venable and Miles White are now mentors in the program.

“I’ve met great father figures in this program and great mentors that I’ll use throughout my life,” Isaiah said.

“During this program, I met a whole bunch of people that I would never have met if I never took this opportunity,” Miles said.

Even though school’s in recess, these students are eager to continue their learning.

“Some kids may think it’s bad because it’s summer and it’s two weeks,” Lamar said. “It’s fun, you learn a lot. It’s worth it.”

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