Baltimore City Public School students have been participating in the National Academic League for the past 26 years. NAL games are quiz show type competitions where students from across the city are asked questions about science, culture, history, and geography-subjects that aren’t always taught in schools these days.
The Abell Foundation introduced NAL to Baltimore City Public Schools In 1993 with the goal of providing an academic after school program that offered the same benefits and acknowledgement to scholars that sports teams provide athletes. Over the years NAL grew to include 30 schools and over 650 students.
Sadly, Abell has decided to discontinue support for NAL and focus their funding on other “extracurricular sports programs.” In a time where our public schools struggle to support existing academic programs, and kids are rarely taught anything outside of core subjects like English and mathematics, NAL was a bright spot for Baltimore City Public Schools students and their families.
I hope Abell will reconsider their support for NAL, or the school system will find a way to continue the program.