Urban Ed Academy (UEA) uses a hands-on, interactive, culturally relevant approach to ensure students gain an understanding of themselves, the world around them, and how it applies to various academic and social settings. All academic courses are project-based and interdisciplinary to enhance the ability of students to see how traditional academic content is used in their everyday life. Course curricula infuse math, reading, writing, science, and social studies content with social justice, stewardship, leadership, and arts and culture projects and experiences to enhance student application of content. In addition, recreational and social development activities provide opportunities for students to interact with local mentors and enable them to see themselves in the future.
A majority of our participants are African American, Latino and Pacific Islander students. The young men that are served by UEA likely fall in impoverished category, and/or are otherwise at-risk of manifesting social, emotional, and/or behavioral problems in school. Despite these trends and social disadvantages UEA aims to provide additional education that will be catalysis to overcoming these same obstacles for both the participants and their families.
1. Academic Enrichment - will consist of a supplemental curriculum and activities that are primarily based on what the child is learning at their respective school – with an emphasis on Math, Science, and Language Arts. During our summer program we offer a different approach by introducing the students to alternative learning methods that spark creativity. Some examples include short stories, poetry, and real-life situational math. Students will have the opportunity to a wealth of knowledge that will allow them to excel in and out of the classroom.
2. Character Development – is an element that will be implemented in all phases of our program. UEA is unique in that for every 10 participants we will have 1 dedicated adult to assist them. This will enable us to be more effective in instilling the necessary values and morals as we encourage them to be productive citizens. Our students will also be granted the opportunity to expand their horizons by exposing them to different geographically areas of their own city but also other field trip activities. This is extremely significant for children who would otherwise no have this opportunity to see outside their neighborhood.
3. Health and Recreation – can be both an educational and fun opportunity for the child. Students spend a portion of each day participating in a wide array of recreational activities, but more importantly learn the health benefits of staying active. These same activities are used to attract and retain students throughout the entirety of our program but simultaneously help build teamwork skills, teach discipline, and conflict resolution.
4. Cultural Awareness – is a unique focus for us. We make appoint to ensure that the staff reflect the demographic of the participants. We also expose children to the history of the different cultures that make up their communities—with an emphasis on African-American, Latino, and the Asian-Pacific Islander cultures. The traditions within each of these cultures are rich and in order for one to appreciate they must learn and participate in some of the traditions. UEA offers trips to local museums, provides ethnic recreational programs, and in addition we welcome the celebration and study of all ethnic holidays.
5. Community Service – is a key focus area as well, the ultimate goal is for our boys to become productive young men. Students will not only learn how to access resources from their communities, but will also be stewards of their own service projects.