Skip to main content

McGraw-Hill Renews Commitment to Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, Extends Free Access to Company’s Powerful Adaptive Math Program

Students at Downtown Boxing Gym see math scores soar after using McGraw-Hill's ALEKS learning system

Tags: Article, Social Responsibility

NEW YORK AND DETROIT (January 11, 2018) – Reaffirming its commitment to providing all students with the highest-quality math instruction possible, learning science company McGraw-Hill announced today that it is renewing its pro bono ALEKS partnership with Detroit's Downtown Boxing Gym, a nonprofit organization that empowers Detroit students through education, athletics, mentorship and enrichment. Through this innovative partnership first forged in 2016, McGraw-Hill provides Downtown Boxing Gym students with free access to its adaptive ALEKS mathematics program.

Since implementing McGraw-Hill's ALEKS in the 2016-17 school year, students at the Downtown Boxing Gym using the ALEKS program have demonstrated significant progress in math, averaging a 25.2 percent increase in math performance after using ALEKS for just nine weeks, with one 6th grade student improving as much as 60 percent. Approximately 90 Downtown Boxing Gym students benefitted from the program during the past school year, and as many as 130 students are expected to benefit from it this year.

"At the Downtown Boxing Gym, our motto is books before boxing," said Jessica Hauser, executive director of the Downtown Boxing Gym. "Academics always come first, and we are extremely pleased by the terrific results we've seen after implementing ALEKS. Our students have made measurable gains, have stronger math skills and have the confidence to tackle new mathematical concepts. We look forward to continuing to build upon these positive results, especially as new students continue to join our program."

ALEKS (Assessment in LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) provides an individualized experience for K-20 students based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. Through powerful artificial intelligence, ALEKS provides personalized instruction, delivering the precise information students need, when they need it. The ability to assist students at all levels using real-time feedback and inherent motivators results in significant improvements in retention, success and confidence.

"The remarkable results achieved by the Downtown Boxing Gym in just the past year demonstrate precisely the positive impact that well-implemented, purposeful education technology can have for students and teachers alike, even outside of the traditional classroom," said Heath Morrison, president of McGraw-Hill's School Group. "We're incredibly proud to have played a role in this recent success with the Downtown Boxing Gym, and we look forward to driving more positive results for other organizations and schools by helping to address individual learning needs."

Several Downtown Boxing Gym students shared their own feedback on the ALEKS program:

"I'm thankful for the ALEKS program because it opened my understanding to more math subjects for high school," said Reynard, a ninth-grader who demonstrated a 35 percent growth in math knowledge over nine weeks. "ALEKS helped me to get an A in my high school math class."

"ALEKS motivated me to do better, to move past my limits," said Kenneth, a sixth-grader who demonstrated a remarkable 60 percent growth in math knowledge over nine weeks. "I am thankful for the ALEKS program because it helped me explore new topics."

For more information about ALEKS, visit

McGraw Hill
McGraw Hill is a leading global education company that partners with millions of educators, learners and professionals around the world. Recognizing their diverse needs, we build trusted content, flexible tools and powerful digital platforms to help them achieve success on their own terms. Through our commitment to equity, accessibility and inclusion, we foster a culture of belonging that respects and reflects the diversity of the communities, learners and educators we serve. McGraw Hill has over 30 offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK-12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 80 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

About Downtown Boxing Gym

The Downtown Boxing Gym is a free, after school academic and athletic program currently serving 156 Detroit students ages 8-18. Founded in 2007 by Coach Khali Sweeney, the gym's motto is books before boxing. Each student receives top tier educational support, mentorship, transportation, and healthy meals, and participates in community service. The program has maintained a 100% high school graduation rate since its inception. Learn more at or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
(914) 512-4853

Robin Schwartz
Downtown Boxing Gym
(248) 508-5985

Nina Chang
(646) 766-3055