Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $740,000)
The Academy has designed an after-school academic and mentoring model to provide services to children of prisoners and children falling behind in school that live in high risk communities. The program builds protective factors in the following areas: academic competency, a connectedness to school, a connectedness to an adult outside the family, increased self-efficacy and development of inspiring future goals. These protective factors are developed through three main elements: skill, character and dream building. Current model sites are in 10 high-risk communities (Washington, D.C, Baltimore, Philadelphia, East Orange, Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles) serving approximately 350 students per school year. Through a strategic planning process the project seeks to expand their program model to three additional high-risk communities and expand services within their existing communities to serve four times as many young people in each community. Thus, full implementation of this strategic plan would expand the program to 1,220 students by the end of this two-year project period. The project proposes to expand their organizational capacity in order to replicate their innovative model designed specifically to build protective factors to reduce the risk of early involvement in crime and the criminal justice system. The Academy has developed a set of intermediate outcomes that they want to achieve with its participants and has linked these outcomes to indicators that will show whether or not the program is reaching its desired impact. An evaluator will be identified to determine the best measurement tools for these indicators.