Partners of '63 currently supports seven "active programs." Each has been thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by the Program Committee, and each has a Partner that "champions" the initiative.|
In 2001 Charles Best, a twenty-something teacher in a Bronx high school, saw that caring, creative teachers needed things the established system would not provide but that good Samaritans might, if asked. So Charles created www.donorschoose.org for the asking, and an organization to get the funded gift to the classroom and the classroom's thanks to the donor. In 2003 we pitched in with pricing and branding counsel, business planning disciplines, donor market research and especially with the creation of a full-time marketing position. Gary Blakely manages our program team. In 2005 DonorsChoose is expanding from NYC to NC, the Bay Area, and Chicago.
Expeditionary Learning Schools / Outward Bound
Expeditionary Learning (ELS) is not a wilderness program -- it is the application of what Outward Bound has learned in the woods to the reform of American schools.
In brief, ELS 'happened' in 1992, when Outward Bound’s search for better ways to serve inner city kids in their communities found the New American Schools RFP, and won funding to develop a scaleable design for better schools. ELS now operates in 143 elementary, middle and high schools in 31 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Under a Gates grant, in 2005 ELS launched two new high schools, the first of twenty.
Partners '63’s first assignment at ELS was to tackle its own perceived branding problem, partly by addressing the strength and legitimacy (in education reform) of the parent Outward Bound brand. Our program is led by Doug Tansill, an Expeditionary Learning Schools board member.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, FIRST has engaged nearly one million young minds to take an active interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. This year alone, over 196,000 young people on close to 17,600 teams are participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, FIRST Lego League for 9-14 year olds, and Junior FIRST Lego League for 6-9 year olds. FIRST invites Partners to help further enrich our programs by participating as team mentors, volunteers, judges, or by helping FIRST to identify and engage potential sponsors. Jim Utaski is our Program Manager. For more information on this program, click here.
Innovations for Learning
This program has developed an effective reading software program to help kids learn to read. Tutoring is done in two ways: face-to-face and via Internet. Corporate partners (Boeing, IBM, Tribune Corp.) provide money and volunteer tutors. In Chicago, the program has been tested and proven over the past decade and is expanding this year from 10 schools and 2,000 kids to 20 schools. It brings most first graders to grade level by the end of that key year at an affordable cost (because volunteers from corporate sponsors do so much of the work). Ready for roll-out to other cities, Innovations for Learning wants Partners’ help on expansion strategy as well as operations and PR.
Public Education Leadership
Year Up has achieved excellent results to date: • 100% placement of qualified students into apprenticeships • 83% student retention • 90% of apprentices meet or exceed apprenticeship partner expectations • 87% of graduates placed in full or part-time positions within 4 months of graduation • $15/hr average wage at placement.