The San Francisco 49ers Academy
Thank you for visiting The San Francisco 49ers Academy’s page of CafeGive. We are making a difference in our community and in the lives of the students that need us the most. By shopping on CafeGive you are joining our dedicated donors, sponsors and volunteers as we work to raise the academic bar while keeping kids safe, on track and in school.—Michele Sharkey, Executive Director The San Francisco 49ers Academy
Life is difficult in East Palo Alto, and transcending such an environment even more so.
• Two out of every three students do not graduate from high school.
• Median household income is 45% lower than the average in San Mateo County.
• Sixty percent of men between the ages of 15 to 30 have already entered the criminal justice system.
• Over 40% of the students are raised by single mothers.
The limited opportunities in East Palo Alto are considerably out of sync with its location in Silicon Valley. The area is considered the global center of technical innovation, but the vast majority of children in East Palo Alto are not properly prepared to contribute to that workforce. Many face obstacles such as economic, language, cultural barriers and lack of parental guidance. These children have immense needs and require intensive support to escape the cycle of poverty. Fortunately, such support can be found at the San Francisco 49ers Academy.
Founded in 1996, the San Francisco 49ers Academy is a unique partnership -- a public school assisted by a private non-profit agency (Ravenswood National Communities in Schools, Inc.). Supported in part by the San Francisco 49ers and located in the heart of East Palo Alto’s' most “at-risk” neighborhood, the 49ers Academy provides a caring and safe community – both during the school day and in afterschool programs -- with an emphasis on developing adult one-on-one relationships.
In the 49ers Academy and afterschool program:
• 93% of families qualify for free or reduced lunch costs.
• Demographics are 65% Latino, 20% African American and 10% Pacific Islander.
The 49ers Academy enrolls 130 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Research shows that the middle school years are the most crucial for intervention – determining whether or not a student goes on to graduate from high school. Advanced technology, small class sizes, social services and extended school hours is how the 49ers Academy removes barriers to these children’s success in school and in life.
The 49ers Academy’s primary strategy lies is providing student’s with a high level of personal attention. The Academy boasts a 20:1 student: teacher ratio, versus 30+:1 ratio in traditional public schools. Additionally, the student: adult ratio – encompassing support staff and other volunteers participating in the classroom -- is just 10:1. These volunteers are drawn from community agencies, local universities and social and human services agencies to bring the services that students need directly into the school, such as group, individual and family counseling, 8th grade transition and high school preparation assistance, mentors, scholarships, programs in conflict resolution and referrals to special resources.
An extension of the 49ers Academy, the 49ers’ After School Academy, serves 135 (K-8) students, and operates under the direct supervision of the school principal. The program has two components: homework help from certified teachers, and project-based clubs. These clubs have a curriculum in which students are expected to create a plan, implement it, and have something to perform, show, or celebrate at the end of the session. For example, the 8-80 Zone, founded by Steve Young (#8) and Jerry Rice (#80) is a teaching center for media literacy, giving students access to state-of-the-art equipment where they can explore and train in the fields of computer science; journalism; musical composition and performance; audio recording and engineering; creative writing; film, TV and radio broadcasting, video editing; design and photography. Students receive hands-on technological experience, giving them a marketable skill to compete in today’s workforce. For more information, please visit 49ers-academy.org