The Freddie Mac Foundation is committed to opening doors to hope and opportunity to children, youth, and their families. The Foundation does so by supporting non-profits that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, find homes for foster families, and develop youth to their fullest potential. As part of its youth development efforts, the Foundation supports a variety of high-quality after school and enrichment programs such as HAP. In 2004, the Freddie Mac Foundation gave $25 million to help strengthen families and communities in the DC area.
Freddie Mac Awards $500,000 to Higher Achievement
Freddie Mac Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to Higher Achievement Program
Funding Expands HAP’s Reach To Open New Alexandria, VA Site
McLean, VA–The Freddie Mac Foundation has awarded Higher Achievement Program a $500,000 grant to help expand its after school academic enrichment program to reach 300 economically disadvantaged youth at its four Achievement Centers throughout the District of Columbia. The grant will also enable Higher Achievement to open a new Achievement Center in Alexandria, VA.
“One of the Foundation’s main goals is to open the doors of hope and opportunity for children and youth. Ensuring children succeed at school will help them succeed in life,” said Maxine B. Baker, president and CEO, Freddie Mac Foundation. “HAP provides an outstanding academic program that opens a world of possibilities to children who might otherwise slip through the system. That’s why we are delighted to help HAP help more children reach their academic potential, and in the process, make their dreams a reality.”
With funding and support from the Freddie Mac Foundation, Higher Achievement will increase the enrollment at each of its After School Academies from 60 to 75 students, in all reaching 300 children during the school year. In the summer of 2006, HAP will add an additional 160 students by expanding the DC summer program by 100 and opening a center in the City of Alexandria to serve an additional 60 middle school youth, bringing the total number of participants in 2006 to 460.
Originally founded in 1975 as a community outreach program at Gonzaga High School in the District of Columbia, Higher Achievement now provides year-round rigorous academic training to 300 economically disadvantaged middle school students in Wards 1, 4, 6, and 7 in the District of Columbia. Higher Achievement currently operates an After School Academy, Summer Academy and top high school placement programs. Its four-year academic enrichment programs combine an academic culture and skills training with innovative curricula in mathematics, literature, technology, science and social studies that promote high level academic mastery. Lessons in all subject areas incorporate Higher Achievement’s four themes: freedom, voice, solidarity, and justice. Through the discussion of these themes and related activities, students develop their critical thinking skills and an understanding of how to apply their education to issues of social justice.
According to Higher Achievement, the lack of inspiring and challenging out-of-school academic programs coupled with an overabundance of unsupervised time leads many students to risky behavior, and as a result, may cause some students to become disinterested in developing their academic potential. This is particularly drastic for the middle school age group. Higher Achievement’s innovative, year-round approach to education inspires students to reach their full potential by providing them with challenging and hands-on academic enrichment during critical periods when they are not in school and combines this training with opportunity: the chance to attend a top high school program.
As a result of their innovative measures, Higher Achievement scholars mark some of the highest gains in the country with 70 percent of all “C” (or below) students increased a full letter grade or more in reading, 68 percent of all “C” (or below) students increased a full letter grade or more in math, 54 percent of students improved their standardized reading score with an average increase of 9.5 percent, and 66 percent of students improved their standardized math score with an average increase of 11 percent during the 2003-2004 program year. They were recognized by President Bush for these achievements earlier this year.
“We want to close the academic achievement gap that exists today by providing students with a rigorous and innovative academic training and academic opportunities when they need it most—during the middle school years,” said Maureen Holla, executive director, HAP. “With the support of the Freddie Mac Foundation, we will now be able to help even more students throughout the DC area achieve their academic goals.”