The Math & Reading Academy was established to expose students as young as five years of age to pursue a college education and become self-sufficient. This exceptional program has been operational for over 17 years and was designed for two major reasons:
1. Far too many students fall behind in math and reading in the elementary grades and never catch up. Without focused intervention, these students miss out on acquiring a solid academic foundation and the basic building blocks to enable them to do grade level work. They are passed on, unprepared year after year after year until they reach middle and high school. If they were unable to complete the work assignments in elementary school, their chances of mastering more difficult work as they move through the secondary level are remote to nil. Many of these math and reading deficient students will struggle through every painful year and will not be prepared for high school or college, they are destined to become dropouts and enter a competitive world with little or no skills. Most prisons are filled to capacity with inmates who are dropouts and whose education took a turn towards failure in elementary school and never caught up. Since education is the preeminent gateway out of poverty, students must become competent in the most basic of reading and math as they receive guidance and preparation for 21st Century employment.
2. Why take students to a college campus? Daily transportation to the university is provided because many children and their parents have never been on a college campus and offering the academy for kindergarten-8th grade at CSUS exposes them to a new world of possibilities. The intent is to take away the mystery of enrolling in, attending, and financing college. Students at all ability levels should be aware that college is not reserved for a privileged few, but for all those who successfully complete their work in elementary, middle, and high school. They are told that the more education they receive, the better positioned they will be to earn a decent living and take care of themselves and their families. Graduating college is embedded in the minds of some children as soon as they are able to talk. The message, like the institution should be there for all children. As a starting point, the cornerstone of the academy is a great equalizer; to turn poor children into proud, self-sufficient adults.