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New program aims to teach middle school students that it’s cool to be smart

New program aims to teach middle school students that it’s cool to be smart

BAASE Kick off photo More than 530 middle school students kicked off the Better Academics and Social Excellence program, or BAASE, with a special luncheon. BAASE aims to help close the achievement gap and increase the graduation rate by focusing on seventh and eighth grade male middle school students who have achieved a 3.2 or high GPA, showed social excellence with their behavior and had good school attendance.

“Our goal is to bring these students together to create a positive peer group where it’s cool to be smart,” said William Polite, Director of Equity, Diversity and Accountability for Wichita Public Schools. “We have a great group of young men and we want to keep them inspired and motivated and to prepare them for college.”

The program’s goal is to encourage students to take advanced placement and honors courses once they reach high school which will not only help prepare them for college, but will help them earn college credit while they’re still in high school. BAASE also works with business partners to show them career opportunities.

Each middle school has sponsors that provide enrichment opportunities such as career exploration, motivational speakers, social activities and college information.