By Dylan Deprey
The Tuesday morning assembly was a little different for the students at George Washington Carver Academy of Mathematics and Science on Jan. 24.
Instead of flipping through their textbooks, students watched the acrobatic Milwaukee Bucks’ Rim Rockers flip through the air. Pompoms replaced pencils, and thunderous applause replaced quiet time as Bango the Buck also soared through the air dunking a basketball in an Antetokounmpo fashion.
The morning halftime show was a celebration as the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation awarded Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM) a $100,000 grant, distributed over the next two years, to continue their work in leadership training, which impacts over 17,000 students citywide.
“We have a big responsibility. We have an unbelievable brand, a professional team, and we have the ability to shout from the mountain tops how important our youths’ education is and this is one of the vehicles we are going to use,” said Peter Feigin, Bucks’ Owner.
STCM is an organization that provides leaders at high poverty schools the opportunity for on-the-job coaching, monthly professional development and leadership training programs.
“We know that every kid deserves a great school, and every great school needs an amazing leader,” said Abby Andrietsch, STCM Executive Director. “Every day we have the privilege of coming alongside leaders across the city to coach them, to provide professional development, and train current and future leaders.”
STCM works with around 200 educators, at 43 MPS, independent charter and private Choice schools across the city of Milwaukee.
George Washington Carver Academy Principal Kristen Hines said that over the past four years STCM has worked alongside her and the staff as they worked to improve attendance, test scores and rebuilding a school culture.
“We are so fortunate Schools that Can comes in three times a week, sit down with our leaders and our leadership team,” Hines said. “We could not have asked for a better organization to help support us.”
Carver Academy had the greatest improvement of STCM programs with a 4 percent jump in attendance over the 2016-2017 school year.
The program involved assigning adults to building relationship with students struggling to get to school, as well as adding incentives like an “Atten-dance.”
During the 2016-2017 year, STCM is estimated to spend around $500,000 to provide educators from 19 MPS schools development and coaching assistance. The Bucks’ grant will further support their work.
“We are very grateful for this generous support from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Foundation” Andrietsch said in a statement. “This investment will allow us to further deepen our positive impact on school leaders and their students in Milwaukee Public Schools and across the city.”
The Milwaukee Bucks Foundation was created this past summer with the mission to improve the quality of life for youth and Wisconsin families through: youth education, youth health and wellness and community advancement.
“Youth education is one of the pillars of our foundation, and an area of critical need in our community as we work to educate our future leaders and ensure that all of our children, regardless of their background, have access to a quality education,” said Alicia Dupies, Milwaukee Bucks’ Foundation Executive Director.