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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Today marks one month since we returned to school. The first days of school were filled with excitement, anticipation, and a wonderful energy that was infectious throughout City Academy. Students and teachers may not be as anxious as they were on that first day of school, but their excitement and contagious energy still abounds.
The first few weeks of school have allowed teachers to reminisce about their first days of school as students and as teachers, and have allowed students to share their hopes and dreams for the new school year.
The very first day of school for City Academy was September 1, 1999. There were 42 students in three classes, Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade, who were part of the inaugural celebration. The following is the first day of school speech given by President and Co-Founder of City Academy, Don Danforth III.
Ten years ago, I was talked into volunteering at a place called the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting into and soon got caught up into Mr. Mathews’ philosophy of offering children the best opportunities possible. City Academy is the result of the successes of the Mathews-Dickey educational programs.
First days of school come with anticipation, wide eyes, a few tears and many smiles. But in all cases, they come with hope and renewal. For me, the first day of school means order is restored, expectations are high, and possibilities are endless. It is my favorite time of year!
I relish seeing the excitement and optimism of students, parents and teachers.