Math Students Post-up with SAIL
By Paul Cobb
African American youth have been given scholarships to learn how to count, compute and think through math and science problems in a former Wells Fargo office building in downtown Oakland.
They are learning Algebra, which has often been called the “universal second language” and the “gateway to scientific thought.”
“If students can speak Algebra they can migrate to geometry, calculus and sail through other courses on their way to science, technology, computer and engineering careers,” says Dr. Ben Chavis.
Chavis, founder of the American Indian Public Charter High School (AIPCS), offers a special summer “math intensive” science program for inner-city youth. More than 95 percent of the students are minorities, and the school scores among the top five in the state.
By enlisting extensive parental and guardian involvement and with a little dose of tough love sprinkled with high and demanding expectations, Chavis has produced high achieving scholars by partnering with their families and community.
In 2008, Dr. Chavis began the Stanford Academic Institute of Learning (SAIL) in Oakland. The summer program focuses on mathematics for economically disadvantaged minority students.
Since 2011, the SAIL program has expanded to offer academic opportunities to children in Saddletree, North Carolina, a small American Indian community where Dr. Chavis attended school. Saddletree Academic Institute of Learning serves rural students from Mexican, American Indian, Black and white families.
Stanford Academic Institute of Learning (SAIL) serves inner-city and rural students in grades 5th-12th. SAIL soars with an excellent student attendance (99.5%), which helps to ensure the academic success of students who are interested in attending the program.
SAIL offers general mathematics to 6th grade students, Pre-Algebra to 7th grade students, Algebra I to 8th grade students, Geometry to 9th grade students, Algebra II to 10th grade students, Pre-Calculus to 11th graders and Calculus to 12th graders.
The school has 340 students enrolled in two locations. Most students come from American Indian Public Charter School I (AIPCS) and American Indian Public Charter School II (AIPCS II).
The Oakland Post and SAIL has partnered to offer scholarships to Black students. They are providing 61 Black students with an opportunity to excel in mathematics this summer.
SAIL alumni are currently attending the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Davis, the University of California at Los Angeles, Syracuse University, Stanford University, Cornell University and numerous other universities.