July 21--A sports-based mentoring program and a math tutoring initiative touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for turning around the lives of at-risk boys is getting an additional $10 million in federal funding.
The White House announced Monday new partnerships for President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative, which was launched in February for boys and young men of color. Among those partnerships is Youth Guidance's Becoming a Man (BAM,) a violence prevention program in Chicago Public Schools for boys in grades 7 to 12 that uses sports and mentoring to help students resolve conflicts, keep away from violence and stay in school.
The University of Chicago'sCrime Lab two years ago found violent crime arrests went down for 44 percent for youths who participated in BAM. Last year, Obama celebrated Father's Day at the White House with kids from the BAM program.
Meanwhile, Match helps high school students catch up to grade level in math with an hour a day of small-group tutoring for freshmen and sophomores.
A study by the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab found that Match students learned in eight months what an average high school student learns in three years. The study said both programs also helped student attendance and reduced the risk of dropouts.
In March, Emanuel announced the expansion of Match, half of whose participants are also enrolled in BAM. The math tutoring program, Emanuel said, would soon reach 1,000 students thanks to a $2.5 million donation from the Illinois-based EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
On Monday, the mayor's office said the additional federal funds will be divided--$4 million will be allocated to CPS to administer both the BAM and Match program. Starting in the fall, 2,000 students in 37 schools will be in the BAM mentoring program and a total of 1,100 students in 15 school will get Match tutoring.
The remaining $6 million comes through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. That moneywill go toward BAM, Match, the University of Chicago's study of the two programs, and expansion of the two programs to five cities over the next three years.
"President Obama's strong investment will amplify the City, Chicago Public Schools, and the philanthropic sector's support for the Becoming A Man mentoring and counseling program and the Match tutoring program to more students at more schools in neighborhoods throughout our city," Emanuel said in a statement.
"Through this investment, BAM and Match, which have grown substantially in just a few years, will be providing thousands of Chicago's children with high-quality educational experience, an alternative to the street, and the opportunity for a bright future that every child deserves."
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