LAS VEGAS -- There's a group of students at Mendoza Elementary School who head to class before the bell rings and stay until 5:30 in the evening. It's all part of an optional program called the BRICK Academy or Building Responsible Independent Compassionate Kids.
The students spend as many as 10 hours a day at school. Most of them are from low-income families.
Teacher Justin Brecht created the program. He says the idea is to get the kids on the path to a much brighter future.
"The program is meant to serve under served children and produce first-generation college graduates. We do this through extended day college prep program that has high expectations, rigorous curriculum, character development is a big part of it, to try and break through some of the obstacles these kids will face in their lives, especially as they go into middle school and high school and hopefully college,"
Brecht says the students in his program learn much more than math and science. They get a hands-on education which includes creative writing, fitness, and fun field trips. The students at BRICK Academy have had 35 days of perfect attendance and have some of the highest test scores in the school.
"I want to a have a better future and this is the first big step of mine so I can have a better education and so because of this I can go to a magnet middle school or a magnet high school or even I could be the first one in my family to go to college or university," student Stephanie Corzo said.
The program is only open to fifth graders at Mendoza Elementary School, but Brecht hopes to expand it to other grades.