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Baltimore City Public schools are underfunded and African American males are growing disengaged in learning, resulting in low literacy and higher crime rates.

Derrick is a 6th grader. He is too embarrassed to participate in class because he struggles with reading. His teachers have too many students to focus on his needs and often scold him for not participating. He feels like he doesn’t belong. He has missed more than 60 days of school. He wants to be successful but feels that it’s too late.


87% of Students in Baltimore City Public Schools are below reading level by 8th grade

(The National Center for Education Statistics, 2015)


70.8% of students who showed signs of disengagement in the sixth grade did not graduate from high school

(Baltimore Education Research Consortium, 2011)

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$35 million dollars was invested in the opening of a youth detention center while Baltimore City Public Schools faced budget cuts totaling $40 million dollars

(Baltimore City Public Schools, 2017) (The Baltimore Sun, 2017)


YKLA supports students in the school setting by providing academic interventions and unique learning experiences in a risk-free learning environment. We believe that if students are exposed to unique learning experiences and cultivated as leaders in their schools and communities, they can produce a culture that excels academically and places a high value on education.


Personal contact is essential to school climate as well as instruction, it is necessary to provide a space where children feel comfortable taking risks, expose vulnerability, and build their sense of self.

(The Baltimore Education Research Consortium, 2014)


Schools can identify specific students in need of intervention as early as sixth grade and emphasize the importance of providing supports to help students attend school regularly and pass their courses in the middle grades.

(The Baltimore Education Research Consortium, 2011)

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