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ACES is an after-school tutoring/mentoring program that engages inner-city youth in learning and provides opportunities for them to build the skills necessary to succeed academically, develop personally, and become responsible, contributing members of the community.
ACES provides caring tutors/mentors in an after-school setting who help inner-city fourth- through eighth-grade students conquer the issue of the fourth-grade slump. This academic slump can last through eighth grade and is recognized throughout education as a major contributor to the achievement gap. "The fourth-grade slump can be prevented or alleviated by educators who are genuinely caring, highly competent, and deeply responsive to children's learning strengths and needs" (Sanacore & Palumbo, 2009).
The core elements that ACES utilizes to help fourth- through eighth-grade students overcome the fourth-grade slump are:
- Dedicated in-school reading and vocabulary time.
- Involving families in their ACES students' education and lives via family nights, regular phone contact, and home visits.
- A 1:4 adult:student ratio that enhances impact by providing small-group and one-on-one tutoring and mentoring relationships.
- Engaging curriculum that meets states standards.
ACES runs four days per week October through May. All students attend ACES two days per week. Students who attend ACES two days a week for the entire after-school year receive approximately 125 hours of direct impact per year.
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