In major cities across the USA, the public school dropout rate can reach as high as 50%. In our local community of Allentown, PA where CAI is headquartered, the percent of students who do not graduate has been as high as 37%. Academic failure often comes early to these inner city youth as many are not afforded the same learning opportunities as their suburban peers. From their earliest years in school, inner city youth, particularly ESL students, are at a severe disadvantage as they almost immediately fall behind in reading and math and once this occurs, it becomes difficult to undo.
Armed with this understanding and the belief that there are ways, most notably the creative and embedded use of educational software and the belief that businesses should champion educational process changes within their local communities, CAI set out to make a difference in early childhood education.
Since 1999, CAI has been actively working with local schools, initially those found within the local Catholic Diocesan to introduce concepts and tools that will change the educational trajectory of inner city youth. Today, CAI not only partners with the diocesan, but also with Community Services for Children, Lincoln Leadership Academy and the Allentown and Easton Boys & Girls Club. Most recently, CAI opened the CAI Learning Academy, a private school that is built upon the principles and concepts CAI so wholeheartedly endorses.
Our long-term vision is to open more private schools, in other inner-city areas where our business operates, and encourage and assist in equipping other businesses to do the same.