SMART Summer Academy by Darleana McHenry Ed.D.

3 min readMay 16, 2022

St. Carries Center SMART (Science, Math, Art, Reading, Technology) Academy provides Black students loving spaces to learn free of implicit bias. Our curriculum is Afro‐centric and utilizes brain‐ based research. Our program specializes in offering culturally congruent services with providers that are ethnically matched and expands the knowledge of Black students creating better solutions for today’s problems. Diversifying STEAM one student at a time.

St. Carries Center SMART Academy is implementing a 5‐year research project focusing on increasing the educational achievement of Black Students in Math from K‐12 under the leadership of Dr. Darleana McHenry. Most students lack confidence in Math due to learning gaps in Math Fundamentals.

We review all of the skills in Math to ensure that students are prepared to solve any problem using strategies that are effective and well‐rehearsed. Whenever you have an achievement problem, you have a practice problem.

Darleana McHenry Ed.D.

Black students are the lowest performing students in Math in the nation as well as globally. This achievement gap is generally attributed to poverty. Yet time and time again, we see that given the proper mentoring and coaching Black students achieve at levels commensurate with their peers of other races.

Most research data view Black children through deficit lenses and analyze their economic status and make the decision that they can’t succeed with their background and environment. Children from single parent homes are considered less likely to succeed. African Americans are fully aware that many of our greatest Leaders come from single parent homes, such as Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Oprah Winfrey, Jessie Jackson, and many others.

Also, if poverty was the determining factor, how does one account for the Black doctors, lawyers, engineers and other scholars who graduate from HBCU? It is the mentoring and coaching they receive from ethnically matched senior scholars who view their culture as a building block instead of a stumbling block.

This research project starts as a pilot project with 100 students on June 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022, Kindergarten through grade 12 who will be tutored, coached and mentored in Math for 6 weeks by Black College Interns. After the pilot project, we expand to Black students throughout Africa and the Diaspora. The research project involves 3 tiers and a 5-year commitment. We offer free basic math lessons online in 100 languages, paid Math tutorials in 5 languages and paid live Math lessons with an Academic Coach/Mentor.

We implement cultural relevant instruction and social emotional learning by empowering students that they can be high earners. We create a nurturing environment We use money to teach all basic math skill, numeracy, math operations, fractions, decimals percentages and algebraic expressions. We reduce math anxiety through games, conversations and bonding with mentor and coach.

Our version of character development and social justice is learning the skills that it possible to improve the lives of the Black community. We empower students to feel and think that they can make a difference in the world. We create lifelong learners and give Black children the foundation to succeed in a world full of anti-blackness. Application is found at:




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