Test results released this fall in the “Nation’s Report Card” reveal the staggering impact the pandemic continues to have had on education. Minnesota test scores have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years and education disparities have only gotten worse – especially in math.
With a specific focus on foundational math skills and presence in Minnesota’s most historically marginalized communities, ACES is centrally positioned to meet this moment. We envision a future in which ALL students have access to first-rate programming. We envision a future in which ALL students have the support to bounce back from pandemic learning loss even stronger. If you’re with us, if you believe ALL students deserve an all-star education, support ACES on Give to the Max Day 2023!
ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) is an innovative out-of-school time program that brings learning to life for Minnesota students. Our original, hands-on curriculum develops math and social-emotional skills and prepares students to succeed – all through the exciting lens of sports!
Since our founding in 1994, thousands of fourth-eighth graders have participated in ACES’s programming at schools and community centers across the state of Minnesota. Through small group sessions, one-on-one mentorship, and once-in-a-lifetime experiential learning opportunities, ACES boosts confidence and improves outcomes for young learners in some of Minnesota’s most historically marginalized communities.
ACES is proud to be the first and only organization of its kind to have the direct support of every Minnesota professional sports team. In synergy with ACES’s classroom programming, partnerships with the Minnesota Aurora, Lynx, Timberwolves, Twins, United FC, Vikings, Wild, and Saint Paul Saints, as well as the University of Minnesota Athletic Department, spark learning and inspire students to succeed in school, career, and community.
The ACES Approach
ACES's unique approach strengthens academic outcomes and develops skills like teamwork, perseverance, and confidence for students in Grades 4-8. ACES works closely with school administrators, classroom teachers, and families, to identify and meet learning needs, and set students up for success. During the 2023-24 year, ACES programming is offered at eight schools in the Twin Cities metro area and two in Northfield, Minnesota.
Research shows that a strong, middle school math foundation is a reliable indicator of high school graduation and college readiness. ACES supports students at this critical inflection point in their education.
Based on Minnesota state education standards, ACES’s curriculum focuses on real-world applications to bring mathematics to life. Students calculate surface area and volume, test experimental probability, solve variable equations, and more – all while completing hands-on units like Stadium Architecture, Sports Around the World, and Sports Science.
ACES is also proud to support students’ social-emotional development. In regular small group sessions, students practice important life skills like problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork. In addition to personalized academic support, one-on-one mentorship from ACES Academic Coaches also cultivates goal setting, perseverance, positive decision making, and more.