Nearly 160 soon to be ninth graders are attending Scholars Academy at area high schools this summer.
The new summer program is being offered at Maplewood, Cane Ridge, Glencliff and Pearl-Cohn high schools and is designed to help students prepare for high school and college.
"This is an awesome program designed to jump start kids opportunities to be prepared for high school, but more importantly to be prepared to go to college," said Director of Maplewood High School Scholars Academy Marci Garner.
During the month long program, students spend 25 hours per week at school.
"They have enrichment in algebra, enrichment in English and they also have character building and a socially emotional enrichment as well," Garner explained.
Garner added that all of the participants volunteered to give up a month of their summer break to continue learning.
"Some kids are rolling over [in bed] at 7:30, 8:30 and 10 [in the morning] sometimes. [These students] are on the bus stop at 6:30 in the morning. They are hungry for knowledge and we want to feed them," said Garner.
On Thursday morning, Mayor Karl Dean got a first hand look at the program offered at Maplewood High School.
He told Nashville's News 2 he is impressed with the students who have volunteered to attend the summer program.
"This is really students who stepped up on there own and said, ‘I want to do more work, I want to learn more, I want to be ready for high school, I want to succeed in high school, I want to go to college and I want to be a success in life,'" Dean said.
Mayor Dean said he hopes to have a Scholars Academy available for each high school grade level over the next few years.
The summer program is part of a bigger effort to double the number of Metro school students who graduate from college.