Young African Americans are at high risk for academic failure and the risk increases as they progress through the school system. Starting as early as kindergarten, minority students lag behind in reading and math. This gap increases in elementary school education and remains fixed as they reach high school.
Young African Americans are disproportionately enrolled in the least challenging courses and under enrolled in honors programs or advance placement courses. African Americans perform poorly on statewide assessment tests and college admission tests and are more likely to be expelled or suspended from school. This population also has a lower graduation rate nationally and statewide when compared to white students.
There have been efforts in Talbot County to offer scholarships to potential African American graduates who were college bound. Unfortunately, there were too few graduates who were enrolled in college. From these observations it became evident that the need for intervention must occur during the formative years.
The purpose of this program is to identify first grade African American males at risk for failure. We aim to recognize and address socioeconomic barriers that inhibit their ability to learn effectively and provide academic enrichment in a safe, caring, and structured environment.
BAAM has positioned ourselves to expand into programming to support the needs and interests of girls in our community. BAAM for Girls was established as an entity of Building African American Minds in 2021. Our mission is to build our girls to think and be for themselves and the world around them. We value positivity, self-worth, integrity, and intelligence.
BAAM partners with local faith based organizations, educators, parents, and concerned citizens to accomplish the stated goals.