UIC launches institute to help black boys
The Boys College Summer Literacy Institute, a new program created by UIC, launched this summer to provide black boys with an academic foundation not typically offered in elementary school. Boys College gives black boys in grades 3 and 4 the reading and writing skills needed to prepare for and get admitted to top colleges and universities.
During the program, which began June 28 and ends Thursday, students read and write about sociology, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, humanities, law, engineering, biology, medicine and economics. The goal is to accelerate their intellectual development and shape a new model of literacy development for black boys in Chicago Public Schools and throughout Illinois.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 2 percent of black fourth-grade students scored at an advanced level in reading in 2015, compared to 9 percent of all fourth-grade students nationally.
Boys College creator Alfred Tatum, dean of the College of Education, says that providing coursework in challenging subjects early on is critical to increasing the likelihood that black boys read at advanced levels, are college-ready and can consider a wider array of academic and professional paths.
The first session includes 20 boys. Boys College is taught and supervised by UIC faculty and doctoral students and is a partnership between UIC and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.