Across America, an educational achievement gap draws a line between students whose parents have the money to pay for expensive private programs and those who don't. During summer, wealthier students may have the option of summer schools and camps that help them solidify their academic knowledge and hobbies, and better prepare them for the next school year. For lower income students, finding quality summer school isn't always easy -- especially as public schools face severe budget cuts.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports one innovative nonprofit is tackling the achievement gap head on -- working to provide quality summer programs for over 1,000 low income kids in Northern California. Aim High provides free full-day summer sessions for middle school students, which include an organic lunch, art classes and math and science lessons.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Aim High's creative and engaging lesson plans make for an exciting learning opportunity for the middle schoolers.
In Cameron Yuen-Shore's seventh-grade math class, a "Harry Potter" theme helped guide students through algebraic inverse operations, a tongue-twisting concept their 23-year-old teacher described as "undoing things," sort of like when a wizard reverses a spell.
And abracadabra, algebra suddenly wasn't so hard, students said.
"I like Aim High better than summer school," said Danny Ferrar, 11. "Summer school is more like school. Here it's more fun."