Academy builds on early success -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Academy builds on early success

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A program to help at-risk south Georgia kids make it to college is building on its early success.

The Valdosta Early College Academy begins it's second year tomorrow.  It's a partnership between the Valdosta City School System and Valdosta State University to bring out the best in students.    

Valdosta State University's Defensive Line Coach Earl Chambers taught kids how to eat healthy as part of the Valdosta Early College Academy's orientation week.

The students left soon after to show off their classrooms to their parents.

"I'm just looking forward to great success and the preparation for college as well," said Sherly Baker, academy parent. "The atmosphere here is good so it just gets her ready for it."

Her daughter Gabrielle is entering the sixth grade at the academy. Principal Ingrid Hall reflects on how proud she is of the last year's CRCT results.

"100 percent of our students passed in english language arts and 96 percent passed in reading," said Ingrid Hall, Principal of Valdosta Early College Academy. "We had really great results in math and science and we beat the system."

In addition, students had to write their very own autobiography and this year they'll gain even more skills in a program called writing-to-win. Eventually the school will be grades 6-12. This year seventh grade has been added.

"We're very big on technology," added Hall. "That's the benefit to being on campus at Valdosta State University."

The academy is housed at the university's Dewar College of Education building. Students are also learning how to use IPODs to get information they've missed.

"Students are able to take academic content and relate it to real life," continued Hall.

The early schools target students who are at-risk learners with potential and are the first generation of high school or college in their families.

VSU's education program works with kids on concepts they're having trouble with and tutors them. The academy and all other Valdosta City Schools begin tomorrow.

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