We believe that youth activism and tiered mentoring are the keys to ensuring that every child has a real chance at a quality education. To that end, SIAP:
Youth leaders in middle school, high school, and college are identified. They receive training in a 2-week summer institute and academic-year workshops focusing on the historical, cultural, political and sociological aspects of community; mathematics content; healthful living; mentoring and tutoring strategies rooted in Algebra Project pedagogy and games; and peer organizing and advocacy. To provide high-quality, youth-led learning opportunities to address summer learning loss in safe and structured environments and to build enthusiasm around mathematics and college going, SIAP establishes or partners with existing community-based programs.
Additionally, participating high school teachers may select willing high school students with the best math skills in their classes to train for tutoring/mentoring efforts. This relationship improves the skills of the tutor/mentor students and those they tutor/mentor. These high school students begin tutoring in his/her high school math teacher’s class and eventually may tutor before school and/or after school on the school campus by appointment or in special tutoring programs. These students may also move off-campus and work with other tutoring endeavors in the community. The same process may be implemented at the middle school level.
The culture within the school and community is transformed to one of “can do,” one of achievement by all students. Students desire more and expect more from themselves, from their schools, and for their futures.