GRADE A PLUS, INC. ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

Grade A Plus serves families in the Columbia, MO and surrounding area by offering STREAM* focused academic support and enrichment programs for 3rd - 12th grade students. Collaborating with college student and community volunteers, the program supports young learners and their families throughout the school year with four weekly sessions.

*Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics

Academic Support
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Mathematics

3rd-7th Grade

Undergraduate tutors utilize various tools to support mastery of basic functions like counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions.

Math UP!

Math Graduate tutors support higher level subjects of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, College Algebra, and AP Calculus (AB and BC).

Math Challenge Club

Student participate in advanced math activities, followed by discussion of solutions with other students and tutors.

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The Language Arts Center

The Reading Center
Focuses on developing student reading skills through decoding, fluency, vocabulary, working memory and attention, sentence construction, and reasoning development. 

The Writing Center
Open to all grade levels, this center allows students to development skills in penmanship, story telling, writing format styles, publication, blogging, and writing for the web and social media.

Doing Homework
School Assignments

Students may arrive to a session at Grade A Plus, Inc. with school-assigned work. The program maintains that it's completion takes priority for one-to-one tutoring services in supporting in-school learning and curriculum.

Enrichment Opportunities
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Science

Field and Stream

Graduate students introduce youth participants to career options in the field of Natural Resources, sharing the valued characteristics of commercial and industrial use, aesthetic value, scientific interest and cultural value.

Fun in Science

Youth participants learn about the impact of sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices and later begin to grow plants in their homes using resources available in their home.

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Robotics & Engineering

Participants may learn about programming languages, careers in engineering, how to build a working machine, and more. Middle School students are encouraged to join Technology & Engineering enrichment as a pre-requisite to joining the local high school FIRST® Robotics Competition team, the Army Ants.

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The America Project: History and Culture

Students explore the rich diversity of history, culture, and identities of people in living in America. Guest presenters provide a lens of the people groups to be explored. Virtual Tours take  students to places beyond Columbia. 

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Mentoring

Positive Youth Development (PYD)

Provided every session to increase student-tutor relationships, unwind from the school day, and address concerns students may have about their day.

Empowerment

Focus is assisting students with the growing responsibilities of Middle School in preparation for High School and building identity.

 

The Futures Project

Focus is to aid students in connecting the purpose of education to the choices for their futures. 

Family Support
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Family Leader Support

Family, school, and community are essential to the development the youngest members of a society and in nurturing the growth mindset of children and young adults, the role of a family leader(s) has a tremendous impact in such development. Family Leaders may be parents, legal guardians, relatives, or foster parents who oversee the primary needs of a child. 

Grade A Plus, Inc. supports family leaders by providing group workshops and presentations for guidance to support their child(ren)'s needs. Also through communications with assigned tutors, school teachers, and other community mentors, increased involvement by family leaders help a child succeed in and out of school. ​

Back to School

Family Advocacy

Advocacy support is between families and the school their child(ren) attend, and Grade A Plus, Inc. staff serves as a third party collaborator to help assure student needs are met by school support staff and classroom teachers. This includes, and is not limited to, communications regarding student progress in subject areas, technology and internet hotspot services, English Language (EL) translations for immigrant families, and more.

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Food Support

Food security support: Families seeking food support may sign up for services through Grade A Plus, Inc. As a distribution collaborator with Powerhouse Community Development Corporation, the program helps to provide food and personal care supplies to families.

Family Nights: Hosted on Thursday evening, this night is dedicated to the families and children. During this evening time, program staff spotlight an aspect of the program, offer opportunities for children to present about activities, and engage in family centric activities companied with a hot meal.

 

Academic Support Program

Grade A Plus provides one-to-one academic tutoring services for students in 3rd - 12th grade. In partnership with colleges and departments at the University of Missouri, tutors are graduate and undergraduate students with concentrations in Education, Human Development, and STEM related majors to support their learning needs.

Pre-term and post-term assessments are administered and used to identify the learning needs of students in subjects according to their grade level. Tutors meet students at their educational backgrounds to supplement their needs.

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Mathematics

3rd-7th Grade: Emphasizes mastery of counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. Tutors utilize digital resources and math activity worksheets for each session to develop problem-solving skills in basic functions. Pre-Term and Post-Term assessments are administered to identify student strengths and areas in need of support.

Math UP!: Emphasizes challenge and mastery of math subjects of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, College Algebra, and AP Calculus (AB and BC). Students are paired with a Mathematics Graduate Students to support higher levels. Pre-Term and Post-Term assessments are administered to identify student strengths and areas in need of support.

Math Challenge Club: Exposes student to advanced  math problems on a weekly basis, followed by discussion of solutions. This club prepares students for math competitions and future success. 

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Language Arts Center 

The Reading Center: Open to all grade levels, the Reading Center focuses on developing student skills through decoding, fluency, vocabulary, working memory and attention, sentence construction, and reasoning development. Students may chose to either work one-to-one with a community reader or join a reading group with other students at their reading level.

The Writing Center: Open to all grade levels, this center allows students to development skills in penmanship, story telling, writing format styles, publication, blogging, and writing for the web and social media. Headed by Brittany Hilderbrand of The Writers Block, LLC. students work to strengthen their writing skills in a variety of avenues. Each term, The Writing Center publishes student work for public viewing.

 
All students enrolled in the program participate in vocabulary development through the "Word of the Week", that is specified to the grade level of the student. This group activity includes learning the definition, at least three synonyms and three antonyms, and use of the word in a sentence. 

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School-Assignments 

Students may arrive to a session at Grade A Plus, Inc. in need of support for a school assignment. The program maintains that completion of school assignments take priority for one-to-one tutoring services to support in-school learning and curriculum.

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has posed various barriers to learning, the Academic Support and Enrichment Program provides a space for youth to further investigate the curriculum they learn in school. 

Subjects may include and are not limited to:

  • Chemistry, Physics, Biology (includes Honors and Advanced Placement)

  • Business, Marketing, Entrepreneurship 

  • Computer Education

  • Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS)

  • Social Studies (includes Honors and Advanced Placement)

  • World Languages (includes Honors and Advanced Placement)

 

Enrichment Programs

The Enrichment Program aims to provide quality activities for students in 3rd - 12th grade to boost their out-fo-school exposure to a specific experience. Working in one-to-one or group settings, College Student and Community Volunteers coordinate programs that range from robotics and engineering to creative arts to physical activity.

Holding Plant

Science 

Field and Stream: Graduate students introduce youth participants to career options in the field of Natural Resources, sharing the valued characteristics of commercial and industrial use, aesthetic value, scientific interest and cultural value.

Fun in Science: Youth participants learn about the impact of sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices and later begin to grow plants in their homes using resources available in their home.

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Robotics & Engineering 

Participants may learn about programming languages, careers in engineering, how to build a working machine, and more. In partnership with the FIRST® Robotics Competition team, the Army Ants, elementary and middle school students are encouraged to join Robotics & Engineering enrichment as an introduction and pre-requisite to joining the team in their high school years. 

In past years, students learned to build mBot Robots during a Fall workshop and develop their skills of coding in the Spring term. Under the leadership of MU College of Engineering faculty, participants  learn from current high schoolers the opportunities that await them!

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The America Project: History and Culture 

Students explore the rich diversity of the country they reside in, exploring the history, culture, and identities of people in living in what is colonially known as the United States of America.

 

This project is particularly valuable to first-generation youth and families seeking to expand their perspective of American society. Social Studies Pre-Service Teachers from the College of Education at Mizzou and guest presenters provide this series each term with a new lens to understand the perspectives of different people.

 

Due to safety restrictions under COVID-19, Virtual Tours was developed to take place of field trips and to take students to places beyond Columbia, MO. Tours included visiting cities and countries, monuments, historical sites, museums, and more. 

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Mentoring

Positive Youth Development (PYD): Provided every session, PYD is a time to increase student-tutor relationships, to unwind from the school day, and to address concerns students may have about their day. PYD is hosted for 30 minutes prior to the Academic Support and Enrichment Program hours. Students may join the mid-sized group room with peers in their school level or may choose to work one-to-one with their tutor or mentor during this time.

Empowerment: This enrichment focus is to assist students with the growing responsibilities of middle school in preparation for high school and to provide an environment for students to grow into their identities. Empowerment is hosted each term in a small group setting under the leadership of emerging adults specializing in Education and Human Development.

 

The Futures Project: The Futures Project focuses on aiding students with necessary tools to connect the purpose of education to the choices for their futures. This project includes discussions surround time-management, career and college exploration, high school course recommendations, and building avenues to accomplish career goals. 

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Physical Activities & Field Trips

Prior to COVID-19, Grade A Plus included physical activities and field trips as a part of the Enrichment Program. In lieu of these activities for the 2020-2021 school year, enrichment leaders developed virtual programming for take place. 

For the 2021-2022 school year, Grade A Plus, Inc. is working to bring back activities like basketball, yoga, swimming, and dance in small group settings. Families interested in hearing updates on these programs will receive more information as the year progresses, all in-person programming is dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases in the area.

 

Family Support Program

Families enrolled in the Grade A Plus, Inc. program receive the support and benefits of support through initiatives of family leader support, family advocacy with schools, and food support programs. Families may also refer to the Resources page for more information about other programs in Columbia, MO that best suits their needs that are beyond the scope of Grade A Plus, Inc.

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Family Leader Support

Grade A Plus, Inc. philosophy and belief is that family, school, and community are essential to the development the youngest members of a society. In nurturing the growth mindset of children and young adults, the role of a family leader(s) has a tremendous impact in such development. Family Leaders may be parents, legal guardians, relatives, or foster parents who oversee the primary needs of a child. 

Grade A Plus, Inc. supports family leaders by providing group workshops and presentations for guidance to support their child(ren)'s needs. Also through communications with assigned tutors, school teachers, and other community mentors, increased involvement by family leaders help a child succeed in and out of school. 

Each child and family leader will be asked to participate in a Pre-Term survey to determine what their needs are.  At the end of the year a post tutoring survey will be repeated to see if the program contributed to change or development in the youth and their family. 

Back to School

Family Advocacy

Advocacy support is between families and the school their child(ren) attend, and Grade A Plus, Inc. staff serves as a third party collaborator to help assure student needs are met by school support staff and classroom teachers. This includes, and is not limited to, communications regarding student progress in subject areas, technology and internet hotspot services, English Language (EL) translations for immigrant families, and more.

Food_edited.jpg

Food Support

Food security support: Families seeking food support may sign up for services through Grade A Plus, Inc. As a distribution collaborator with Powerhouse Community Development Corporation, the program helps to provide food and personal care supplies to families. Items include nonperishable food, diapers, laundry products, hygiene products, dental supplies, and more.

Family Nights: Hosted on Thursday evening, this night is dedicated to the families and children. During this evening time, program staff spotlight an aspect of the program, offer opportunities for children to present about activities, and engage in family centric activities companied with a hot meal. This program also connects family leaders with tutors and staff working with their children.