Seven Organizations and School Districts Across New England to Receive $200,000 Education Reform Awards

January 11, 2011

$1.4 million in Grants from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation will support efforts to put students at the center of learning

QUINCY, Mass., Jan. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an effort to prepare all of New England’s learners with the skills and knowledge they need for full participation in postsecondary education, work and life, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation promotes the integration of Student-Centered Learning across New England. Seven organizations and school districts across the region have each been selected to receive one-year, $200,000 planning grants from the Foundation. With these grants, the districts and their communities will collaboratively design strategies for implementing student-centered education systems that meet the needs of all learners.

The organizations and districts selected to receive District Level Systems Change planning grants from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation are: Burlington/Winooski School Districts, Burlington, VT; Central Falls School District, Central Falls, RI; Job for Maine’s Graduates, Portland, ME; Maine School Administrative District #60, North Berwick, ME; Pittsfield School District, Pittsfield, NH; Randolph School District, Randolph, MA; and the Sanford School Department, Sanford, ME.

Student-Centered Learning is characterized by education that takes place both in and out of the classroom; focuses on the needs and interests of learners; finds innovative uses of time; includes a wider variety of adults in all aspects of learning; and measures skills and mastery of content using a combination of demonstration and traditional testing.

The grants are among the first made through the Foundation’s new District Level Systems Change (DLSC) initiative which is designed to promote the integration of Student-Centered reforms by working simultaneously across three areas: education practice; policy; and public understanding and demand. The Foundation believes that by utilizing this three-part strategy, districts can achieve and sustain the type of change necessary to dramatically improve education.

“These grants represent a significant step for education reform and, ultimately, the well-being of our region,” said Mary Sylvia Harrison, Vice President of Programs for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We believe that integrated Student-Centered Learning at the district level will prepare more young people with the tools they need to succeed.”

Throughout the planning year, the Foundation will work with grant recipients to design and develop plans to transition to Student-Centered approaches to education. Following the planning grant period, the Foundation anticipates that it will award up to six planning grant recipients with multi-year grants of $800,000 to $1,500,000 annually to implement their Student-Centered Learning plan.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is the largest charitable organization in New England that focuses exclusively on education. The Foundation supports the promotion and integration of student-centered approaches to learning at the middle and high school levels across New England. To elevate student-centered approaches, the Foundation utilizes a three-part strategy that focuses on: developing and enhancing models of practice; reshaping education policies; and increasing public understanding and demand for high quality educational experiences. The Foundation’s new initiative areas are: District Level Systems Change; State Level Systems Change; Research and Development; and Public Understanding. Since 1998, the Foundation has distributed over $123 million in grants. For more information, visit www.nmefdn.org


Nick Lorenzen, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, nlorenzen@nmefdn.org, 781-348-4239

SOURCE Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Source: newswire

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