Elementary and middle school students go to camp at SUNY Brockport

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BROCKPORT, N.Y. – For many kids, summer vacation means taking a break from school, but a group of young men from school nine in the city of Rochester have spent the last five weeks together, learning at Suny Brockport.

The Boys Academy is made up of boys going into second grade through eighth grade. The boys wake up early, catch a bus to the college, and spend their weeks like college students. They wallk around campus as a group, eat in the dining hall, and learn from SUNY Brockport professors.

Burnice Green Ph.D., founded the Boys Academy 15 years ago as an opportunity for young men to explore paths for their future. Green said, “We have to start early, we can’t wait until they get to high school, we have to start right here as third graders, fourth graders on up so that they are prepared for high school.”

Each week, the students receive a lesson from professors and students from the college. They also take lessons from their classroom teachers. The program gives them academic support, as well as an opportunity to make friends, and build their social emotional skills. Green says that many of their participants have gone on to have successful futures.

“The first cohort of boys that went through our Boys Academy, 98% of them graduated from high school” Green said. “And they come back, they build that brotherhood, they build that culture, and they come back to support their younger brothers”.

Kristian is going into sixth grade and he is one of those younger brothers. He said he has gotten the opportunity to explore multiple subject areas that he is interested in. The boys also have plenty of time for fun including every Friday where they get to go swimming in the pool!

Kristian said, “It’s like I’m taking a vacation every day, after a while it’s just like I can’t wait for tomorrow, and then the next day I can’t wait for tomorrow.”