Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Higher Achievement CEO Serves as Guest Speaker for the Aspen Institute!

Richard Tagle, Higher Achievement's CEO, will be participating as a guest speaker in the Aspen Institute's 2010 Ideas Festival from July 5th-11th.

Entering its sixth year, the Aspen Ideas Festival is a conversation-packed exploration of some of the most important ideas and pressing issues we face. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic magazine, the Festival strives to highlight the ideas of experts at the forefront of their fields and of leaders whose actions are changing the world.

From early in the morning until late at night, inspiring and provocative writers, public officials, artists, scientists, business executives, scholars, economists, foreign policy specialists, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all kinds — drawn from myriad fields, from across the country and from around the world — will gather to address audiences of people who want to be challenged and who are interested in learning about the world and the ideas that are shaping it.

Check out more on the festival, and the featured speakers.

Higher Achievement CEO Joins Board of Local Non-profit

Higher Achievement CEO Richard Tagle was voted into the Nonprofit Roundtable for Greater Washington's board of directors to serve a 3-year term beginning this fall.

The Nonprofit Roundtable works to build the strength, visibility, and influence of the nonprofit community in order to create a more just and caring community in Greater Washington. Their membersinclude advocacy organizations, direct service providers, grantmakers, and corporate partners all working together to solve regional problems.

"I am excited to have this opportunity," Richard shared recently. "This brings us first-hand knowledge and access to issues both nonprofit and philanthopic entities are talking and concerned about, and also provides a great platform to highlight Higher Achievement's work to many colleagues, funders and champions."

To learn more about the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, click here.

Baltimore Scholar Testifies Before Congress!

June 29, 2010 - Higher Achievement scholar, Ariea Hughes testified in support of the Congressional reauthorization of the summer breakfast and lunch program. Ariea delivered an impressive testimony and stole the show! Speaking in front of Senator Brown from Ohio, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the director of Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Ariea participated on a panel with two other people and was the only young person to speak.

See below to read a portion of Ariea's testimony:

"The summer is a very important time because when it’s time for us to go to the next grade, we’ll be ahead. Higher Achievement and the Summer Food Program are important because they help me reach my goal and my goal is to get and finish my education. By providing me with breakfast and lunch each day, I get balanced meals that help me focus. By eating healthy foods, we do better in school. Each day we get a complete meal, which includes meat, vegetables, fruit, and a snack. The food is very nutritious and it feeds our brains and gives us energy. Higher Achievement also teaches us nutrition tips of the day about why we should eat healthy. I have learned a lot from these tips and feel good about myself for eating healthy foods."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Higher Achievement to Serve More Students East of the River!

Higher Achievement announced today that it will open a new Achievement Center in Ward 8 on June 28. The center, located at Savoy Elementary School, will be the organization’s sixth achievement center; the second of which established to serve students east of the river. To celebrate this new Center, Higher Achievement will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 20th, at the school from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Invited guests include Mayor Adrian Fenty, City Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember Yvette Alexander; news personality Alison Starling is scheduled to attend.

“The opportunity to ensure that young people have a fair chance to achieve academic success is important to Higher Achievement,” said Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Executive Director of Higher Achievement DC Metro. “We are excited to be able to bring Higher Achievement to the Ward 8 community, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic support we have received from city and educational leaders. We look forward to the success of our Ward 8 scholars.”

In 2009, Higher Achievement graduates saw a remarkable increase in their GPAs over their time in the program, from an average 2.5 to 3.1 by graduation. 95% of 2010 graduating scholars were placed in top high schools including Gonzaga, Banneker Academic High School, School Without Walls, and McKinley Tech.

Higher Achievement is a part of another AUDACIOUS IDEA!

Audacious Ideas is a blog created to stimulate ideas and discussion about solutions to difficult problems in Baltimore. Each week, they ask individuals to think candidly and audaciously about what can be done to promote opportunity, achievement, health, and prosperity in our city.

Check out Higher Achievement's in this link!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Wallace Foundation Partners with Higher Achievement in Support of Summer and Extended Learning

Washington, DC June 22, 2010 – Higher Achievement announced today that the Wallace Foundation has made a landmark investment of $3 million in Higher Achievement over the next three years. Higher Achievement, one of only four service providers from across the country selected, is a part of the foundation’s initiative to provide disadvantaged urban students with more time for high-quality learning – both through improved summer learning opportunities, and through extending the school day and school year.

The foundation has joined with an initial group of partners to help build understanding and develop knowledge that districts, cities and states can use to take action. In addition to Higher Achievement, those partners include: The National Summer Learning Association, The National Center on Time and Learning, Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL), Horizons National, RAND, MDRC, and Child Trends.

“The support that we are receiving from the Wallace Foundation is revolutionary,” said Richard Tagle, Higher Achievement CEO. “We are honored to be part of a select group of organizations that are deemed to be doing high quality work as leaders in innovation and proven practices in the field. This grant will allow us to expand our capacity to serve more scholars, evaluate our summer academy, and improve the quality of our program.”

Wallace’s initiative comes amid increased interest and concern about what approaches are most effective in boosting student achievement:

In the area of summer learning, research shows that over the summer break common in most school districts, all children – but especially poor children – lose some of what they have learned during the school year. Despite this evidence of the problem, less is known about what measures might be effective to solve it, and what state and district policies would be needed to support those measures. Evaluations demonstrate that effective summer learning programs can reduce summer learning loss, but there are few instances of those programs being successfully applied across a district – something Wallace hopes to test with one or more district partners.

In the area of extended learning time, the evidence is unclear about what it takes for more time added to the school day, week or year to make a difference in students’ academic achievement. However, studies of extended learning time have shown positive effects on students’ school attendance, engagement and social and emotional development.

With an initial investment of $9 million, Wallace is focusing on three main strategies: 1) building awareness and understanding of the value of adding more time for high-quality learning, 2) supporting national organizations that do a good job of educating children in now-underutilized hours in order to help those groups reach more children, and 3) working with selected school districts, to test how programs to provide more high-quality learning time might be applied widely in a district to help disadvantaged children.

With the generous support from Wallace, Higher Achievement will be able to open a new affiliate in Richmond, Virginia, improve the operations of our national office, DC Metro affiliate and Baltimore affiliate, evaluate the effectiveness of its programs, and share best practices with the field.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lynsey Wood Jeffries as 1 of 12 NGen Fellows!

Higher Achievement Executive Director Lynsey Wood Jeffries joins Independent Sector’s 2010 American Express NGen fellows! This selective program is part of IS’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now initiative, which helps build the next generation of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. Jeffries is one of 12 under-40 fellows.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to learn with this top-notch group of NGen Fellows,” Jeffries shared. “I’m thankful for the significant growth I’ve experienced in the past 5 years with Higher Achievement. Now, I look forward to continuing the cycle, mentoring the next generation of young leaders to become future Executive Directors.”

Click here to learn more about Independent Sector’s NGen initiative, and the professionals who make up this year’s class.