Typically this time of year, I am just returning from a vacation to a small island off the coast of Cancun that I visit every year.  There’s a beautiful pathway along the ocean that I walk along each morning, before the sun gets too hot to be anywhere but immersed in the pool or in the ocean itself, where I often find myself doing a lot of reflecting about the past year.

This year, due to COVID-19 there was of course no trip to Mexico and while I sure miss my morning walks along the ocean, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting from the equally majestic shores of Lake Michigan, instead.

I still pinch myself when I think about the fact that Ryan Banks Academy, which was just a dream for so many years, is now open as a school and that within two years, we’ve achieved such great successes both when it comes to our academic outcomes, as well as we’ve achieved some pretty incredible milestones in regards to our mission to become a boarding school. I won’t dive in here too deeply since we are putting together the final touches of an annual report that we will be sharing soon that will share in greater detail.  But in the meantime, I can say that I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished over the 2020-2021 school year and we have you to thank for it!

Important news about COVID and our current address:

In other news, as some of you may have heard we have made the decision to operate virtually during Fall 2020 with the plan to revisit whether or not we will need to stay virtual or whether it is safe to return to the classroom for the Spring 2021 semester.  For the time being, we will no longer be located at our previous address at 6620 so please note that our new address during COVID will be as follows:

1245 S. Michigan #212
Chicago, IL 60605

Buy a children’s book = support RBA:

I also wanted to share something exciting from one of our supporters!

“Promiseland Global Kids (PGK), through its storytelling and music, aims to close the gap of cultural dissonance that may exist amongst some of the supporters and contributors of RBA and the kids who attend the school. By requesting that supporters dive into stories led by protagonists of color, such as Princess Promise, and lessons taught effectively with urban music, PGK wants to grow a stronger attachment to the kids who inevitably will seek scholarships, internships, jobs and other opportunities after their days at RBA, and those supporters of RBA who can provide those opportunities.

It is not always “what you know” (which RBA adeptly focuses on already) that propels success, but “who knows you” that will matter. For that component, RBA needs its supporters to understand the children on a deeper level so that they are taken seriously in pursuit of their aspirations.”

PGK has a goal of raising $50,000 for Ryan Banks Academy, and you can help buy buying a book OR making a donation through the link here.  Please consider buying a book (or books!) for any children in your family or for the children of any of your friends or colleagues, and also consider donating to a local library, school, or nonprofit.

Best wishes for a wonderful rest of your summer!

With gratitude,
Val Groth
RBA Founder & CEO