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B-CU Hosts Free Summer Academy for Local Children

summer academy

Approximately 100 elementary school-age children descended on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University for a Summer Academy for rising third, fourth and fifth graders. Frolicking across the green lawns of the institution, the young students learned not only the basics such as reading, math and science, but also the importance of attending college and planning their future careers.

The students, who hail from Turie T. Small, Palm Terrace, West Side and several private elementary schools, start the day off with breakfast. Then they spend mornings with certified teachers, who group the children according to skill levels.

Educators administered diagnostic tests to the students at the beginning of the program, and will administer the tests after the program to determine academic gains, said Al Bouie, Assistant Vice President for B-CU K-16 Initiatives.

The program is free to parents and a way for Bethune-Cookman University to serve students in the community,” Bouie said. “The Summer Academy is an extension of President Dr. Edison O. Jackson’s vision and commitment to education from kindergarten to college graduation.”

Summer Academy participants have access to B-CU’s technology, including the high tech math lab in the School of Education, Bouie said. Also, two B-CU education majors work directly with teachers as tutors for children who need additional assistance, he said.

After lunch in the University dining hall, students are treated to motivational speakers and others who offer assistance and advice on career planning.

Our goal is to give these children additional instruction in reading, mathematics and science in a college setting so that they will feel that college is the natural, and expected extension of their school and educational experience.” Bouie said. “The Summer Academy give the children a chance to retain the lessons learned, and learn additional concepts while exploring the possibilities for college in their future.”

The program will end on July 10 with a celebration of the birthday of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in Heyn Memorial Chapel led by Curator/Director Dr. Ashley Robertson. Several of the children will read Dr. Bethune’s last will and testament. Also, students will take a trip to the Kennedy Space Center.

This will be a life-changing experience for many of these students,” Bouie said. “The President wants them to know that the sky is the limit. They can do and be anything they want to be.”

View the Summer Academy Photo Gallery on Facebook. 

Institutional Advancement

Beverly James
Director of Communications
PH: 386-481-2291
FX: 386-481-2973

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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