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City Academy is Restoring the American Dream

City Academy was recently honored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) by being featured in their blog post, “Restoring the American Dream.” This was written by John Chubb (former President of NAIS who passed away in November 2015) and discusses how the American dream is at risk. We may all agree that everyone in America should have equal opportunity to get ahead, but there are certain barriers associated with geographic location and income that makes this unrealistic for many Americans today. However, City Academy is making great strides to restore the American dream by transforming children, families, and the St. Louis community.

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Math Word Problems

Quick! What’s your first reaction when you hear the following phrase?

“Math Word Problems”

Many people respond with something sounding like, “Uuuuugh!”

It’s understandable how there can be an aversion to these types of math problems. But word problems are beneficial and necessary. Like math in general, word problems enhance critical thinking. Additionally, they provide real life anecdotes of using numbers. Much frustration with word problems derives from not having a logical way to find the answer. One solution to overcome this is to use bar modeling. 

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Alumni Success Stories

City Academy is dedicated to providing support not only to our 180 students, but also to our 155 alumni. Each semester, I conduct about 100 visits to our alumni. I check in on their progress, conduct one-on-one counseling sessions, and meet with advisers, principals and heads of school. The following is an update as to how some of our scholars are doing in secondary schools. 

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Students Are Transforming Our Community

Prior to the end of 2015, third grade students decided that they wanted to give back to the north St. Louis community. Third graders, along with the support from their teacher, Ms. Pearson, planned to collect canned foods. However, since City Academy is a family, the third graders invited all classes to participate in this worthy cause. And what better way than by making it a competition? The class who collected the most food cans would be the winner!

The food drive began on December 7 and ended on December 17. In less than two weeks, the students collected nearly 1,500 cans of food for the north St. Louis community!

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Make Dreams Come True

For many families in our community, quality educational options are out of reach. Through City Academy’s scholarship program, Monalisa Gooden found a supportive community with exceptional academics for her two children, Charles ’13 and Carlos ’14.

Like all parents, Monalisa dreams of providing the best opportunities for her children. After being disappointed in her neighborhood’s unaccredited school district, she was relieved to find an innovative and affordable school just down the street from her home. She instantly felt a sense “of community within City Academy that was like a family. The individual support from each teacher really touched my heart,” says Monalisa.
“I knew this was the school where my boys could thrive.” 

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My Giving Story

We empathize with parents who love St. Louis city and are looking for affordable, quality education for their children. We grew up in the city during the midst of the suburban flight that emptied many neighborhoods and contributed to the declining enrollment in our schools. This said, we remain committed to living in the city and to raising our sons in the neighborhood in which we grew up in north St. Louis.

As a result, City Academy is a beacon of hope. By making it financially accessible for families, the school is creating educational equity rather than contributing to the educational disparity. 

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Family Literacy Night

Family Literacy Night is a great opportunity for families to spend time together, interact with other families, and learn more about literacy opportunities for the home. For our second annual Family Literacy Night, families with children in grades pre-kindergarten through third grade were able to spend an hour participating in multiple literacy activities together. Since the theme was “Bedtime Stories,” children were invited to come dressed in their pajamas! Everyone had a great time and learnt more about literacy activities that can be used as great literacy tools for the home. 

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Buddy Morning

Buddy Morning is a great opportunity for both community supporters and students. Twice a year, community partners, donors, supporters and volunteers spend one-on-one time with a student and experience what makes our school so special. These buddies participate in a learning activity together and are given a tour of the school by their student buddy!

City Academy hosted the 18th Bi-Annual Buddy Morning on October 28, 2015, which attracted 101 individuals form the community. Each attendee was paired with a scholar and had the opportunity to build a relationship through educational activities.

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Singing Singapore’s Praises

As we approach fall break, I continue to enjoy the Singapore approach to help our scholars understand mathematics. Singapore math utilizes a logical approach progressing from concrete to pictorial to abstract math. While not always easy, once scholars comprehend a skill, it’s a joy to see them proud of their accomplishment.

But to me, Singapore is more than just math. It provides a way for scholars to stretch their brains by taking skills they learn and applying them.

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Discovering the World Around Us

We are thrilled to offer social studies to students in grades second through sixth grade. Through a diverse study of different countries, cultures and religions, students form a broader view of the world while recognizing their own unique place. Our approach to social studies goes beyond the textbook as lessons are based on discussion, critical thinking and analysis. The first six weeks of the school year have been filled with great projects in our social studies classes!

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