As found by research by Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, there is a critical lack of attention paid to high achieving students from low-income backgrounds. This lack of attention on high achievers has several consequences; it leads to disengagement and underperformance by students with potential, neighborhood schools lose their strongest students to other school options, and school curriculum becomes centered on low performance. All of this leads to a weakening of curriculum delivery, ultimately affecting the high school and college preparedness of all students.
The Scholars Program is focused on identifying a cohort of talented students in the 4th grade and providing the Scholars with in and out of school programs focused on algebra, exposure to college, and leadership development. Steppingstone and the University Partner will also work with math teachers from 4th to 8th grade to develop enrichment and course work that will allow the Partner school to offer algebra to a set of 8th grade students. Steppingstone will ultimately follow these Scholars through to college completion.