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Throughout the day Tuesday, officials behind a proposed charter school discussed ways they can help Knoxville's urban youth. Officials with the Emerald Youth Foundation held small group meetings with community members to get their input.

Just last week, the foundation announced it is creating Emerald Charter Schools, an effort to create a new kindergarten through eighth grade school.

Officials say the proposed charter school is a new way to tackle an issue they've noticed for two decades in East Tennessee.

"We've been working with inner city children, teens, and young adults for over 20 years. We've really seen the achievement gaps that exist academically for our kids. This is just another step to close some of those achievement gaps for them," said John Crooks, communications director of the Emerald Youth Foundation.

The Emerald Youth Foundation helps more than 1,300 kids each year with sports teams and leadership and faith-based programs. Officials hope the school will serve 450 students.

Foundation leaders say they plan to hold more informational meetings in the future.

Visit www.emeraldcharterschools.org or call 865-637-3227 for more information.