“It was just a really hard class,” she recalls. “Everyone was struggling. My teacher, Ms. Lin, encouraged me to get extra help by going to TAP after school.” Shaina says she’d go twice a week, and usually had Ms. Lin herself helping her. “Just sitting down with the teacher was so helpful. And she was the one who was making up and grading the quizzes, so it couldn’t have been better…Honestly, I think the only reason I got a good grade in that class was because of TAP.”
Shaina’s experience exemplifies the impact that TAP (Time for Academic Progress), a Foundation-funded afterschool academic support program, has had on many students at B-CC. More than 50% of the student body has gone to TAP, and there were over 1200 visits to the program in the 2013-2014 school year. Fully funded by donations to the Foundation since 2003, TAP addresses the needs of all students in all grades, in everything from on-level courses to advanced classes, in math, science, English, and Social Studies.
This year, in an effort to reach even more students, TAP has been revamped, based on recommendations from the teachers: It’s now centralized in the cafeteria (rather than spread out in different classrooms), so students can get help with several subjects if they need it, and to create a sort of “student union” feel. Football coaches have moved the team study hall to the cafeteria, allowing players to get the academic assistance they need in specific subjects.
The students now have better access to the Cyber Café, a computer center created with funding from the Foundation. Another innovation has been the creation of a “TAP folder,” which allows students who want comments on a paper to save their drafts online during the day. TAP English teachers comment on the drafts electronically, so students can get help without needing to be physically present. The cafeteria has also chipped in by providing snacks. Six to seven teachers are there every day, with a total of twelve staffing the program.
The changes are working. Attendance has risen significantly and students are not only getting help in multiple subjects but they are getting help from multiple sources. “The atmosphere is vibrant and the numbers [of students] are increasing,” says Stacy Farrar, the program coordinator.
In order to continue to underwrite TAP, the Foundation needs your help. TAP is one of the Foundation’s most well-known programs, but it is just one component in our Campaign for Academic Excellence. The Campaign comprises a mix of our traditional programs plus some exciting new initiatives, and provides a continuum of year-round support for our students.
Donate now and help us help ALL the students at B-CC!