Magnet Receives $100,000 Grant

Advancing Charleston Excellence (ACE)

This summer, Charleston County School District announced that Academic Magnet had been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in order to increase the number of applications from lower-income students. The grant is part of a new program called Achieving Charleston Excellence (ACE), co-led by former Magnet principal Judith Peterson. ACE will select a group of rising 7th and 8th graders for the next two years to learn more about AMHS and the application process, by pairing them with adult and Magnet student mentors, conducting a summer program, and holding quarterly meetings.

This year, the program invited twenty-nine academically-talented 7th and 8th graders to learn more about AMHS and the application process. You might have seen this group touring the school in early October. Part of the program also includes introducing these rising 7th and 8th graders to Magnet events, like the Talent Show and the International Dinner. Mentors will connect with students and their families at regular meetings to check in. In addition to persuading students and their families to consider Academic Magnet, mentors will be available to tutor students and help parents navigate the application process. The program may also help students with the essay portion of the application through writing workshops.

The program will also attempt to present students with programs that cater to specific subject or career interests. For example, a marine science field trip to Bulls Island is planned for December. A similar meeting intended to explore STEM careers is also on the agenda. Providing curious students with the opportunity and resources to discover new areas of interest is an important part of the program. Finally, students in the program will be given the support they need to succeed at Magnet and beyond, including planned visits to colleges. At the end of the first year, the administration will evaluate the program and make changes.

Thanks to Ms. Spencer for contributing to this report.

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