The Making A Difference Education Network Launches

The Making A Difference Education Network Launches

The Making A Difference Education Network Launches

Courtesy of ASCD

As school districts across the country are investing more time and funds into developing educators of the future, the Education Foundation of Massachusetts (EFM) is spotlighting five exemplary schools this year that will receive resources, lessons, and one-on-one mentoring through the Make Reading Great 2018: Inspiration To Achieve Award.

The foundation will also partner with Ball State University to launch the Making A Difference Education Network, a nonprofit that will provide grants to teachers, students, and community members to support student-centered instruction through impactful and transformational ways, such as Teach Like A Champion, Expanding Gifted Curriculum, and Development of The Future Classroom.

Making a Difference is an acronym that has many roots, according to Keith Colbert, executive director of EFM. “It stands for a combination of the words ‘great work, great teacher, making a difference’ from the author Madeleine St. John,” he said. “Essentially, it’s about developing practices and ideas that uplift students, and making a difference in their lives, by changing or using a new teaching method.”

Since 2008, EFM has awarded more than $30 million in grants and scholarships and runs programs and events on both sides of the Cape—with a mission that began at the Cape Cod Day School (CCDS) in Hyannis. “When a student is at a school that values young people and their futures, they do the kind of work that can change their life,” said Jeffrey Daly, the founding director of CCDS. “It’s something that transcends that school—it’s a whole population.”

Founded as a partnership between the Leadership School—an all-girls charter school in Nantucket founded in 1965—and the Cape Cod Day School, both schools have played a role in improving Massachusetts schools by leveraging their unique assets—academic strengths, cultural heritage, and community partnerships—to develop the teachers of the future.

Courtesy of Education Foundation of Massachusetts

Nearly 25 years ago, the two schools joined forces to help middle and high school students discover what their schools had to offer and to help teachers develop practices that would empower students to learn and become “agents of change.” The collaboration developed a voice for leadership and community, enhanced communication between and among partners, and created critical mass in the student, teacher, and community leadership.

“These are the kinds of things you have to do in a collaboration, and we saw this as something that was a big step forward in education,” Colbert said. “The vision, over time, has evolved into where the leaders [in the organization] are creating the kinds of changes that result in the results that we want in education.”

EFM has a 17-member Board of Directors that oversees the organization’s work. The foundation is also hosted by the Cape Cod Maritime Museum (CCMM) and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce in Hyannis.

This year, the three recipients of the Inspiration to Achieve Award are:

Jacquelyn Frost, International Baccalaureate (IB) Magnet Middle School, Hyannis—Jacquelyn recently completed a curriculum study on differential equations that covered the percentage fractions of sentences, time spread by seconds, and the plus signs that define orders of magnitude, and it led to her and her class winning a plaque for their accomplishment from the IBD School Council at Oceanside Academy, an IB school in the Bahamas. Jacquelyn has taught leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving to third- to sixth-grade students at CCMS for the past 15 years.

Fashion Game Theory & Dance Studio, Oceanside Academy—Fashion Game Theory and Dance Studio for Grades 4 to 8 is a physical education and arts program that encourages students to create and participate in athletic, cultural, and artistic activities.

The Epic [email protected], CCMS—Student behavior at CCMS has improved due to leadership practices and numerous school-wide initiatives. Students learn new skills and maintain physical fitness through after-school dance and music classes and a comprehensive curriculum.

Michael Catlin, International Baccalaureate (IB) Magnet, Cape Cod Day School—Majored in history at CCMS, Michael’s current focus is instruction, training, and professional development with faculty members. Student suspensions have decreased and behaviors in the classroom have improved as a result of Michael’s relationships with students and his ability to engage in collaborative conversations.

The magazine will continue to publish an overview of each winner and how they will apply the resources and lessons they receive throughout the year.

For more information, click here.

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