Student from New Jersey Receives Award for STEAM Sustainability Innovation from Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education

Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, August 10, 2022) – Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education today recognized a New Jersey student as the winner of the 2022 Trade Champions Challenge. The Challenge asks high school students to work to create a 30-60 second video submission, directed at their peers, about why they aspire to be a trade professional and/or why they are passionate about the trade career in which they are currently engaged.​ 

The 2022 Trade Champions Challenge winner is Samantha S., a 10th grade student at Cumberland County Technical Education Center of the Cumberland County Vocational School District. Samantha will receive a cash prize and a Stanley Black & Decker Prize Pack. Her project – entitled “The Future of Construction” – addresses the fourth industrial revolution as related to the innovative technologies of the construction industry. See the full description of the winning project here

The annual challenge builds upon a Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education educational program – Innovation Generation – designed to ignite, engage, and empower students to become innovators through no-cost dynamic digital resources. Through real-world explorations of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), Innovation Generation cultivates students’ collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking. …Read More

Sachs Foundation and Teach For America Team Up to Deliver Funds and Support to Black Educators in Colorado, Addressing the Black Teacher Shortage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 16, 2022 — The Sachs Foundation, an organization that has supported Black Coloradans since 1931, and Teach For America (TFA) Colorado, the state branch of a national organization that expands educational opportunity for children by recruiting and training educators, are partnering to offer Black college graduates in Colorado an opportunity to make an impact as an educator. The organizations intend to build a community of Black educators through cohort groups and supplement salaries to address the shortage of Black teachers in Colorado.

The number of Black educators in the U.S. has been in decline since schools were desegregated, but data confirms that representation matters to students.  Johns Hopkins research shows that the presence of just one Black teacher in grades 3-5 increases low-income Black boys’ interest in college by 29% and lowers the high school drop-out rate by 39%. However, 150 of Colorado’s 178 school districts have no Black teachers at all. The Sachs Foundation launched its Teacher Development Program in 2020 to improve educator diversity in Colorado schools, a mission that matches TFA’s goal of increasing diversity in the teaching ranks to better reflect student populations.

Working together, the organizations are intentionally building a community of Black educators in Colorado. TFA Colorado is taking the lead on identifying, recruiting and training teachers since that is the organization’s area of expertise, and Sachs is providing financial support for Black teachers working in Colorado who are part of the program, drawing on its experience of providing scholarships for Black Coloradans. Both organizations emphasize the importance of a cohort (peer group) in program success. TFA Colorado says the partnership has already increased the number of Black educators who are able to teach through TFA by 150%.…Read More

High-Achieving Black Students from Colorado Receive More than $2 Million in Sachs Foundation Scholarships Over the Past Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 19, 2022 — The Sachs Foundation, an organization that has provided college scholarships to Black Coloradans since 1931, announced today that it has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to talented Black students in the Centennial State over the past year. Sachs Foundation scholars are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees from universities and colleges in Colorado as well as top institutions from coast to coast, including Yale, Stanford, MIT, Harvard and Cornell and prestigious historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like Howard University.

The foundation awarded 52 scholarships over the past year to exceptional Black students from all around Colorado, including Aurora, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Denver, Fountain, Gypsum, Lafayette, Lakewood, Lamar and Woodland Park. The students who received Sachs Foundation support this year are not only accomplished in academics but have already made a positive impact in their communities through their achievements in the arts, athletics and volunteer activities. More than half of the students are the first generation in their family to attend college.

To celebrate the students’ excellence this year, the foundation sponsored a brunch for the 2022 Sachs Foundation Scholarship Program students and guests at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs. The guest speaker was Clint Smith, a journalist, educator, New York Times best-selling author, popular YouTube host, award-winning poet and staff writer at The Atlantic.   …Read More

Major equity gaps persist in access to AP science learning

Despite students saying that STEM courses are their favorite subject areas and that they aspire to go to college, Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds continue to be excluded from crucial learning opportunities available through AP STEM courses, according to a new report from Education Trust and Equity Opportunity Schools, Shut Out: Why Black and Latino Students are Under-Enrolled in AP STEM Courses.

This new research highlights that a positive and inviting school climate plays an important role in getting more Black and Latino students in advanced courses that would nurture their aspirations and interests and position them to thrive in college and future careers.

“Students who are ready and eager to take advanced placement courses at their schools shouldn’t be shut out because seats are not available or they don’t feel welcomed in these courses,” said Dr. Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust. “District and school leaders must lead efforts to build more welcoming and inclusive learning environments that ensure students who are interested in STEM professions are able to enroll and succeed in AP STEM courses.”…Read More

Bringing our history to light can improve our students’ futures

In November 2021, the Institute for Education Innovation (IEI) held its Fall Superintendent Summit at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.V.–one of the most stunning resorts in the U.S.

But as with many of the nation’s iconic landmarks, from The White House to Harvard University, the legacy of The Greenbrier is directly tied to the greatest stain on our nation’s legacy: the enslavement of Black people. During the Summit, we invited Toni Ogden and Janice Cooley of the Greenbrier County Historical Society to provide a historical context of our surroundings.

The original resort was built in 1858 largely by enslaved people, and as late as 1910, when the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway acquired the property, the company continued to exploit Black workers. African American staff members were expected to cater to the whims of white guests in the style of the old plantations before returning home to overwhelming poverty.…Read More

Honoring Black History Month by Celebrating Black STEM Leaders with Career Readiness Resources for Students from the STEM Careers Coalition

Silver Spring, MD (Tuesday, February 2, 2022) — The STEM Careers Coalition™ – the first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education – is connecting students to a curated collection of dynamic careers content celebrating Black leaders in STEM during Black History Month and beyond. The array of on-demand resources and an engaging event both introduce and deepen students’ connections to STEM through real-world content. Discovery Education is the worldwide EdTech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. 

Building on the achievement of reaching 4.5 million students in its mission to support the next generation of diverse STEM solution-seekers, the Coalition presents a robust array of career profiles featuring diverse leaders across various industries and job roles. Included in the curated collection are career profile videos featuring Black leaders like science communications manager Nicole Epps at Procter and Gamble (P&G), Microsoft program manager Wadood Daoud, engineering project manager Antoine Sands at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), reliability engineer Korede Oluwasuji at Stanley Black & Decker, and many more. The videos are accompanied by career preparatory materials engaging students in the world of STEM by helping them focus on their career goals with simple strategies, roadmaps, and other easy-to-use digital tools. Learn more here

Students, educators, and families can take the learning further with a Hands-On STEM event on February 22nd featuring Coalition partners the American Petroleum Institute and P&G. The action-packed event empowers the next generation of STEM solution seekers with the skills they need to take on some of the planet’s greatest sustainability challenges. Host Brandon Okpalobi will introduce students to a local or global issue, explore why it is happening, connect with inspiring people working to find solutions, and help student solution seekers uncover their own potential with exciting Hands-On STEM activities. Register for the event here…Read More

7 Black History Month resources for February and beyond

During Black History Month, educators have the opportunity to delve into the difficult–and often uncomfortable–experiences of Black people in the U.S. and around the world.

Perhaps one of the most important “do’s” is this: Don’t limit your teaching of Black history to the month of February.

Check out these learning resources (last year’s resources are available here) to get started in February and to plan out how to include Black history in your teaching throughout the academic year.…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Sonya Coleman Named to the National Alliance of Black School Educators Board of Directors

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., January 31, 2022— The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) recently named Sonya Coleman, vice president of strategic partnerships at Curriculum Associates, as the corporate representative on its Board of Directors. Coleman, who brings decades of educational experience to the Board, will help support the organization as it works to further the academic success of the nation’s children—particularly children of African descent.

“Sonya possesses a great blend of business acumen, organizational experience, and enthusiasm, which make her a great asset for NABSE,” said Dr. Nardos E. King, president of NABSE. “We welcome her to our Board and look forward to the continuation of a great and productive partnership.”

Founded in 1970, NABSE is dedicated to improving both the educational experiences and accomplishments of African American youth through the development and use of instructional and motivational methods that increase levels of inspiration, attendance, and overall achievement. The organization reaches a distinguished group of preeminent educators, including teachers, administrators, and superintendents, as well as corporate and institutional members.…Read More

Virtual, Interactive Expeditions for Black History Month Provide Students with a Diverse and Multi-Dimensional Look at African Americans Throughout History

North Mankato, Minn. (January 28, 2022) – The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration, a veteran expert and thought leader in the virtual learning space, today launched a Black History Month package of fresh and engaging virtual and interactive real-world expeditions for students that cover significant historical, cultural and societal events.

CILC’s 10 virtual fieldtrips transcend other well-intentioned, but often one-dimensional and overly simplified narratives of African American historical figures by providing students with a detailed look at the encounters, achievements, and heroism of everyday African Americans throughout history. In addition to the Civil Rights Era, the fieldtrips cover everything from the American Revolution and its relationship to enslaved African Americans to the impacts of sharecropping and homesteading for Black farmers and western communities to the struggle for racial equality in the military during World War II. These “trips” also examine the meaning of race, the history of jazz, and the myths and misconceptions of Africa.

“These interactive, virtual learning programs break down the walls of the classroom and transport students back into history to witness the generations of African Americans who both struggled and triumphed throughout our country’s history, while also bringing to light current situations that many Black individuals still experience today,” said Glenn Morris, CILC’s executive director. …Read More

When it comes to learning loss, don’t reinvent the wheel

As we head towards the last half of our second school year in a pandemic, there is no doubt that the impact of learning loss has exceeded all predictions. As reported by McKinsey,  students are behind an average of four months in reading and five months in math. Unfortunately, the pandemic widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest. In math, students in majority black schools ended the year with six months of unfinished learning; students in low-income schools with seven.  

Helping students catch up and keep up is a challenge many schools are just starting to tackle now that they’ve navigated the logistics of teaching and learning in a (hopefully) waning pandemic.  

Unfortunately, we are already seeing the best intentions and worst habits of problem-solving work their way into resolving student learning loss. Everyone wants to do something big and sweeping to ‘fix’ the issue.  …Read More