The mission of ACES is to help reduce the academic achievement gap in the Twin Cities and improve the likelihood of success for underserved students.
Our vision is that ACES students succeed in college and career, and become engaged citizens in safe and equitable communities.
Founded in 1994, ACES has served over 5,000 youth throughout the Twin Cities. The achievement gap is especially prevalent in the Twin Cities area and carries major implications for the future economic and social health of Minnesota. To continue having a robust economy and employment opportunities for all, it is imperative that all youth are provided the same opportunities for success. ACES minimizes the achievement gap and sets up all youth to be successful and confident learners, regardless of their racial or socio-economic background. This leads to contributing, responsible, and productive adult members of society. A recent longitudinal study via the U of M showed that ACES participants had higher high school attendance rates, higher reading proficiency scores, higher graduation rates, including on-time graduation, and better school engagement.
At ACES, we know learning can best happen when kids are engaged and happy so we've partnered with the Minnesota Lynx, Timberwolves, Twins, Vikings, United FC, and Wild to support our work. In fact, we're proud to be the first, and only, organization of its kind in the Twin Cities to have the direct support of every major Minnesota professional sports team.
ACES’ sports-themed academic programming brings learning to life for our students, with curriculum activities that get youth interested and engaged in sports history, statistics and science. By showing students that what they are learning in the classroom applies to something they’re passionate about – sports - it translates to improved grades and a new passion for their own education.
Emerging research also reveals the importance of social-emotional skills for academic success, especially related to math. When students have the right mindset and confidence, they are more likely to persist through challenging academic situations and master critical math skills. ACES is one of the only out-of-school time program that directly addresses this need. In so doing, ACES provides critical support to fourth through eighth grade students to develop the skills required for success in college, career, and the community.