Ten full-time AmeriCorps Members will leverage an additional 750 weekly volunteer mentors to close the achievement gap by providing individualized, rigorous academic enrichment to middle school youth from underserved communities in Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, and the Washington, DC metro region. At the end of each year in the three year grant period:
* 50% of scholars will increase a full letter grade or more in math or language arts; in addition, 33% of students will maintain an A or B in math or language arts.
* 50% of scholars will score Advanced or Proficient in math or reading standardized tests.
* 60% of scholars will improve their attendance, or maintain zero unexcused absences or tardies.
* 80% of Higher Achievement graduates advance to top private, parochial, and public magnet high schools.
This project will focus on the CNCS focus area of Education, specifically improving the educational outcomes of students in low-achieving elementary and middle schools. Higher Achievement requests a fixed-amount, annual investment of $130,000.