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Some Chicago Students Attending 'Holiday University' During School Break

Students Get Tutoring Over Holiday

(CBS) -- While 12-year old Mikai Daniels' friends are home playing with their new Christmas toys, he's working on his math as part of the Black Star Project's new Holiday University.

"I'm learning and keeping my brain fresh," Daniels says.

Holiday University
A tutor helps two youngsters during the Black Star Project's Holiday University. (Lisa Fielding)

Holiday University started on Monday and lasts two weeks for parents and students who want to boost their learning during the holiday break from school.

Program coordinator Phillip Jackson says tutors offer free homework support through Jan. 3.

"These young people had to make a choice. Do I stay home and play with my new XBOX or do I actually go to a class and continue my learning so these young people will be ahead of their classmates in two weeks when they go back to school?" he says.

Jackson says the program designed to close the racial academic gap that he says keeps widening.

"You close it during the summer, you close it during the holidays, you close it before school, you close it on Saturdays," he says. "Simply sending our children to these schools will never close the racial academic gap. It's got to be something's that done with the community and on an individualized basis."

Thirty students are enrolled in Holiday University at three tutoring sites.

The Black Star Project's Saturday university program has been in place for three years. The Saturday program begins on Jan. 11 and it runs for 10 weeks.


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