Innovator's Academy!

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The Innovator’s Academy is a collective effort made up of four organizations that are committed to advancing literacy and STEM outcomes for youth in Del Paso Heights and specifically Grant High School and its feeder path. The four organizations that have come together to tackle literacy and STEM education through a holistic approach are:

Neighborhood Wellness Foundation: Disrupting intergenerational poverty and trauma by directing resources and building partnerships to address root causes of the social determinants impacting the overall health of the 95838 community and surrounding neighborhoods.

916 Ink: Empowering students in the Sacramento region with creative writing thereby developing strong readers and inspired writers who lead a high quality of life due to increased literacy skills and improved academics.

Square Root Academy: Educating underrepresented youth on the fundamentals of S.T.E.M while emphasizing collaborative learning, innovation, and academic excellence.
Social Venture Partners of Sacramento:Ensuring all students in the Greater Sacramento Region are on a clear pathway to economic security by investing and engaging with nonprofits.

The challenge identified was that in order to realize tangible impact for our community’s youth in the area of literacy and STEM we need to not only provide unique solutions to inspire reading, writing, and math but also address basic needs of security (emotional, cultural, and physical).

Traditional methods of youth literacy and STEM programming especially for the hardest to reach students do not account for the adverse childhood experiences and trauma that they face. Additionally, traditional methods of increasing literacy and STEM outcomes are not achieving the necessary outcomes shown by the limited gains in ELA and Math CAASP scores in the community today.

Our solution, Innovator’s Academy, is a collective approach working to address the root cause of low academic performance and identifying baseline needs while simultaneously leveraging proven methodologies of inspiring youth to read, write, and innovate (STEM).

The partnership between 916 Ink, Neighborhood Wellness Foundation, and Square Root Academy provides a holistic solution to increasing literacy and STEM outcomes for our youth. Neighborhood Wellness Foundation’s, “boots on the ground”, community grassroots effort has proven to be effective in reaching the hardest to reach youth as well as generating a space that is safe (emotionally, culturally, and physically) and influential for learning. This space is created through trust, shared life experiences that provide an even deeper understanding of the adverse childhood experiences and trauma they face. 

Neighborhood Wellness Foundation has seen:

  • 67% of the highest need girls at Grant High School increased their GPA through their Sister to Sister program

Leveraging the learning environment that Neighborhood Wellness Foundation creates through their mindfulness sessions, trust within the community, and mentoring; 916 Ink and Square Root Academy are able to fully capture the youth with their innovative writing and science experimenting methodology. The 916 Ink methodology at its core fosters a love of language (oral and written) that generates a curiosity about writing for the youth to explore reading and writing further.
916 Ink methodology at its core fosters a love of language (oral and written) that generates a curiosity about writing for the youth to explore reading and writing further:

  • 87% of youth in their programs have improved attitudes toward writing

  • 84% of youth improved in terms of social-emotional development

The Square Root Academy approach of “engineering creativity one student at a time” through their STEM Enrichment Series I generates superior interest in STEM pathways while providing the knowledge base to excel in the field

Square Root Academy has seen:

  • 2,000 scholars have gone through their STEM Enrichment Series I

  • 85% of the scholars have expressed a desire to pursue STEM professionally

Therefore, with the combined efforts of 916 Ink, Neighborhood Wellness Foundation, and Square Root Academy we seek to have the intended outcomes of:

  • Improving GPAs

  • Increased ELA/STEM Scores

  • Decreasing Truancy

  • Decreasing Suspensions and Expulsions

We are proposing that the Innovator’s Academy will serve as an innovative solution for keeping youth on campus while improving their educational outcomes. The Innovator’s Academy would work with Grant High School as an educational expert and partner in identifying students to participate in the academy.

 
Cameron Law