The education system in urban communities has not always had the best reputation. Well Success Academy, a network of schools based in New York City has flipped the script on educating children.
Success Academy’s scores in Math and English among students is a testament to why the academy lives up to its name, scoring much higher on exams than students at traditional schools. This is due to Success Academy’s new approach to molding young minds. Take for instance their curriculum on wooden blocks. Kindergarteners are instructed to construct buildings from wooden blocks. They are shown pictures of real life buildings for ideas, but the child’s project is their own. This simple activity is not only fun for students, but is also a great learning experience.
Success Academy also implements a Language Arts curriculum called Think. The curriculum consists of reading workshops, guided reading, reading aloud, and shared text. The shared text portion, for example focuses on literacy and finding meaning in the writing. Success Academy’s Math curriculum is just as effective, consisting of planned lessons, set goals, and activities. Teacher’s show the students how and why concepts work in real life situations, instead of just telling the students to figure out a problem.
Another Success Academy school is opening up at the Alliance Neighborhood Center at 405 S Linden Avenue, which sat vacant for over a year. The school will be an alternative for children with disabilities, or those who have had disciplinary problems. Teacher’s will work with therapists and counselors to give children attention and support alongside their education. This not only gives help to children who would have otherwise had none, but also makes good use of unoccupied space in the community.
Success Academy also encourages parents and community members to be involved in the students progress, offering the Leadership Fellow Program. The great thing about this program is that a formal education background is not required. This opens the door for more adults and parents to step in and make a difference. Success Academy is more of a way of life than it is a school.