Education Preparedness & Enrollment: CLASSY Awards Top 5
Education Preparedness & Enrollment programs are primarily focused on getting students ready for and into a school system. These programs address, among others, the general lack of access to education, low enrollment or literacy rates, the poor or unsafe conditions of school buildings or classrooms, and areas that have little to no foundation for early learning. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.
- Project Lead The Way, Inc.
- Room to Read
- DC Action for Children
- Right to Play
- Turnaround for Children, Inc.
Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way, Inc.
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Project Lead The Way
Vince M. Bertram, Ed.D.
One of the key strategies to increase interest in STEM, particularly for minorities and women, is early introduction to the disciplines. The K-12 pathways program integrates STEM disciplines and teaches critical thinking to students through activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum. Instead of teaching math and science in isolation, PLTW gives students a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. The program executes its strategy by developing curriculum and teacher training, providing support to schools that implement their curriculum, building infrastructure to support online delivery of curriculum and teacher training, and establishing relationships with universities. In the past two years, PLTW experienced 50% program growth and is now currently serving 600,000 students in 5,000 schools in all 50 states. LEARN MORE.
[su_quote cite=”Hillary Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State, then-New York Senator” class=”top5″]PLTW is a promising program that is both changing the lives of middle and high school students nationwide and helping to build a workforce that meets the needs of the 21st century. [/su_quote]
Room to Read
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Literacy Program
Dr. Cory Heyman
Room to Read partners with local governments to supplement gaps that exist in the standard reading and writing curriculum—providing resources, in-service teacher training and classroom enhancements. The Literacy Program focuses on six key components: access to quality reading materials, effective teachers and librarians able to teach literacy skills, school environments that are conducive to learning, family and community awareness to support reading, collaboration with government, civil society, and NGOs, and ongoing research, monitoring and evaluation activities. Learn about decodable story books. In 2012, the organization visited 517 libraries across Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa which had graduated from their support between 2003 and 2010, and found that 98% of the libraries were still functioning after their support had ended. Recently, Scholastic granted copyright approval for Room to Read to translate 40 science texts into the Khmer-language to increase the availability of science books for early readers in Cambodia. LEARN MORE.
[su_quote cite=”Dr. Cory Heyman, Program Director” class=”top5″] Our Program addresses some of the greatest challenges facing early-grade literacy development in developing nations and integrates all our successes and findings from 13 years of work. Because we put data at the heart of program design and hold ourselves accountable, it allows us to listen to what numbers tell us about how children are learning and continually improve program design. [/su_quote]
Third Grade Proficiency in DC
DC Action for Children
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Third Grade Proficiency in DC
District of Columbia
DC KIDS COUNT, a project of DC Action for Children, did an analysis of 3rd grade state test scores from 2007 to 2011 and found no evidence of significant changes in proficiency among racial and ethnic groups or by economic advantage or disadvantage. The analysis went against what DC Public Schools had publicly claimed. Today, the program is using their data to bring unbiased analysis and policy advocacy to ensure resource for evidenced based programs to improve graduation rates. In partnership with DataKind and pro-bono data scientists, DC Action created an interactive, web-based tool to take traditional child well-being indicators “beyond the PDF book” and into the realm of visualizing and communicating data for collective action. In 2013, the data was used by 75% of DC community-based stakeholders, and 20% of recently adopted policies in the area reflected recommendations from the data. Their ultimate goal is to use this data to systematically stop achievement gaps before they begin by improving 3rd grade reading and math proficiency. LEARN MORE.
[su_quote cite=”Bonnie O’Keefe, Program Director” class=”top5″] Our greatest strength was having the audacity to challenge the rhetoric of city leaders with hard data. The attention the project received from the Mayor and other stakeholders was critical. We took a risk in saying the reforms and the funds used for the reforms haven’t yet worked for young children, and the city cannot be complacent and simply ‘stay the course.’ [/su_quote]
Play at the Core
Right to Play
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Play at the Core
New York City, New York
Research and early childhood literature indicates that well-structured programs that aim to improve children’s cognitive, social and emotional development through play activities can have significant impacts on disadvantaged children. Play at the Core trains educators in New York on how to plan and implement play-based learning activities to foster cognitive skills. The program is participatory and centers on partnerships with educators, drawing from their experience and supporting them through the acquisition and implementation of play-based learning practices. The Department of Education of New York City partnered with Right to Play to institutionalize play-based learning as a vehicle to enhance children’s critical thinking, problem solving, language and literacy through educators professional development. LEARN MORE.
[su_quote cite=”Caroline Bennett, Program Director” class=”top5″]The educators with whom we work are heroes as they have the daunting task to ensure children in high need areas are as ready to succeed as any other child when they enter Kindergarten. Play at the Core is here to level the field by making sure those educators are equipped to perform this duty. [/su_quote]
Turnaround for Children
Turnaround for Children, Inc.
[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Turnaround for Children
New York City, New York
Turnaround designed a targeted intervention to confront the recurring pattern of stress and readiness challenges in high poverty schools. Turnaround partners with schools for long-term, three-to-five year engagements, creating a fortified environment that allows children to develop the social, emotional, and academic skills to lift them to higher standards of performance that prepare them for college and career. The model is grounded in two decades of research on child development, neuroscience and behavior in the context of poverty. Although problems of high-poverty schools are often reflected in low test scores, they are in fact deeply rooted in the impact stress has on learning. Recently, Turnaround partner schools have demonstrated positive leading indicators in classroom effectiveness, showing suspensions down 27%, severe behavioral incidents down 18%, and chronic absenteeism down 11%. LEARN MORE.
[su_quote cite=”Scott Cartland, Principal, Wheatley Education Campus” class=”top5″]Turnaround’s course of action allows us to help families find the services and support they need so that our instructional efforts will be more effective. It’s a pleasure to be working with a group that really understands the pervasive challenges that schools like ours must overcome in order to be successful at raising student achievement. [/su_quote]
The Education Experts
The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.
Photo credit: DC Action for Children