TWELVE NEW ENGLAND SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE “CATALYST FOR CHANGE” AWARDS

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quincy, MA – February 16, 2010 –Twelve schools and organizations have received one-time grants of $50,000 as recipients of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s Catalyst for Change awards, which recognize existing examples of personalized, student-centered learning experiences across New England.

The twelve schools and organizations receiving awards are: Boston Arts Academy (Boston, MA); Boston Day & Evening Academy (Boston, MA); Domus (Stamford, CT); Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (Augusta, ME); Northeast Kingdom Learning Services - Learning Works (Newport, VT); Q.E.D. Foundation (Amherst, NH); Sheepscot Valley Regional School Union # 12 (Wiscasset, ME); Springfield Renaissance School (Springfield, MA); Steps to Success (Brookline, MA); Vermont Rural Partnership (East Hardwick, VT); Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (Richmond, VT); and Young Voices (Providence, RI).

“The selection process has helped us become more aware of efforts already taking place across the region to put students at the center of the educational experience,” said Mary Sylvia Harrison, Vice President of Programs for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We’re pleased to recognize these schools and organizations, and we look forward to further exploring how to build on the momentum for innovation that these models create.”

All Catalyst for Change applicants were asked to clearly articulate how they define, implement and/or promote personalized, student-centered learning through their school models, policy change or advocacy efforts.

Applicants were also asked to present a clear rationale for their particular approach and provide supporting evidence of the approach’s contributions to the improvement of educational outcomes for middle and high school students, especially the underserved. Applicants also had to show that their programs were a core facet of schooling and not a stand-alone program.