CONTACT: Jenny Towns
HIGHER ACHIEVEMENT GALA CELEBRATES OUT-OF-SCHOOL LEARNING
Community Leaders and Elected Officials Join Local DC Scholars to Support Higher Achievement’s Rigorous Out-of-School Program
Thursday, October 13, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, Higher Achievement will hold its 4th annual GoingPlaces! Gala at the Warner Theatre, celebrating a more than three decades-long commitment to closing the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. The event, which honors Mitchell Schear, President of Vornado/Charles E. Smith, will bring together Higher Achievement scholars, parents, elected officials and leaders from the business and education communities, and will feature current scholars and alumni speaking about their experiences in the program.
“We are thrilled to convene Higher Achievement’s most passionate supporters, our extraordinary staff and some of the program’s most impressive scholars and alumni,” said Richard Tagle, CEO of Higher Achievement. “We firmly believe in the value of out-of-school enrichment for students during the critical middle school years, and are grateful to have partners in the community who share in our dedication to this issue.”
Mitchell Schear, President of Vornado/Charles E. Smith will be recognized for his ardent support of Higher Achievement. In addition, MetLife will present Higher Achievement with the prestigious MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award, recognizing the program’s success at providing multiple benefits for middle school students, particularly in the area of aligning afterschool with subjects covered during the school day. Scholars will pay tribute to the program’s sponsors, speaking about their experience in Higher Achievement and performing capoeira, a traditional Brazilian dance and martial art form.
The gala comes on the heels of a groundbreaking independent evaluation showing that Higher Achievement’s intensive year-round program has a significant impact on youth’s math and reading standardized test scores. This makes Higher Achievement one of the first organizations focused on out-of-school time that can offer proven results. Tomorrow, Tagle will speak about the study, conducted by Public/Private Venture (P/PV) and Dr. Leigh Linden from The University of Texas at Austin, at an American Youth Policy Forum event on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Linden and Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Executive Director of Higher Achievement DC Metro will also present as part of the forum. To register and learn more about the event, visit www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2011/fb101411.htm. To learn more about P/PV’s study, visit http://www.ppv.org/ppv/initiative.asp?section_id=23&initiative_id=39.
Since 1975, Higher Achievement has provided a rigorous afterschool and summer academic program that gives youth from at-risk communities their best opportunity to succeed in middle school, and in life. From 5th through 8th grade, Higher Achievement scholars spend more than 650 hours a year learning an advanced curriculum that is aligned to state standards. This commitment is in addition to attending the standard 900 hours of school. P/PV’s findings make clear that Higher Achievement is successfully making progress in achieving its primary goal – helping students realize and reach their full potential, regardless of their circumstances, through a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations.
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About Higher Achievement
Higher Achievement’s rigorous afterschool and summer academic program closes the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. The program’s proven model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. On average, 95 percent of Higher Achievement scholars who complete the program advance to top academic high schools and 93 percent advance to college. Higher Achievement was founded in Washington, DC in 1975 and currently operates achievement centers in Washington, DC; Alexandria, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Richmond, VA. www.higherachievement.org