The Education Innovator #1
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 January 12, 2004 • Number 1
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  Past issues
What's inside...
Reach Out and Read
What's New
Teaching American History and Charter Schools grant competitions now open; "Jumpstarting the Charter School Movement" released; Indiana billboard campaign announces opportunity for free tutoring and parent information resource center; Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs program accepting applications; and University of Oklahoma website updated with information about parent/school compacts and more.
Innovations in the News
FASTCOMPANY names first top 20 "Social Capitalists;" plus information on charter schools, teacher quality, challenging coursework, and virtual schools.

Reach Out and Read Brings Reading to the Doctor's Office

Your child pulls on your sleeve and then climbs into your lap with a book, wanting to read together. Are you at the library? Or at the bookstore? You're actually at the pediatrician's office where you will learn how to prepare your child for a rich lifetime of literacy by reading aloud.

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a program that builds on the special relationship between doctors and the parents of young children in order to support children's language and literacy development. Founded in 1989 in a Boston hospital, Reach Out and Read works to improve children's literacy and love of reading by providing children with a "print-rich" environment during their first five years of life. The program focuses especially on children growing up in poverty and supports parents who may not be skilled readers themselves. The model works as follows:

  • Doctors and nurses, as part of children's pediatric exams, encourage parents to read aloud to their children and provide parents with literacy tips. These health care providers are trained in the developmental strategies of early literacy.
  • At each pediatric exam, children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years receive a new, age-appropriate book to take home and keep (for a total of 10 books per child).
  • Volunteers in waiting rooms read aloud to parents and show parents how to read to their children.
The ROR program is built on research showing that children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are more likely to learn to read on schedule. Recognizing that some parents my have difficulty reading themselves, the program also gives parents other language strategies, such as inventing their own stories to go with picture books and naming objects with their children, to support the literacy development process.

The nonprofit organization has a website with free, downloadable, short documents, including "Reading Tips," "Choosing Books," and "The Children's Book List." A chart of developmental milestones, which parents can use as a reference, is also available in English, Spanish, or Chinese.

The Reach Out and Read program is currently in place in more than 1,800 hospitals and clinics in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The ROR program serves 1.7 million children a year and distributes more than 3 million books a year. There are more than 22,000 pediatricians, nurses, and other clinicians who have been trained in the ROR strategies of early literacy. ROR is also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

ROR plans to launch 300 new program sites per year for the next five years. Those new sites will double the number of children receiving books and guidance.

The ROR program received a Fund for the Improvement of Education grant in 2003 and is slated to receive funding again in 2004.

Note: The featured innovation is a description of one literacy program. The U.S. Department of Education has not evaluated the effectiveness of specific services of Reach Out and Read, and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement. Research on reading supported by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development has shown that reading aloud to children from an early age helps to develop the phonemic awareness necessary for children to learn to be independent readers.


What's New
Funding Opportunities
The Teaching American History grant competition opened on December 23, 2003. The deadline for this competition is March 2, 2004. The Charter Schools grant competition opened on December 24, 2003. The deadline for this competition is February 19, 2004.

Charter Schools Donor Guide
The Philanthropy Roundtable has released a new monograph, "Jumpstarting the Charter School Movement: A Guide for Donors" to provide potential funders with strategic ways to support a strong charter school movement in their communities and across the nation. (Jan. 7)

The Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation Billboard Campaign
The Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation has launched a billboard campaign in Marion County, Indiana that announces the opportunity for free tutoring and a parent information resource center program. Both initiatives are funded by an OII grant. (Dec. 30)

Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs (LEE)
Arizona State University West's Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs (LEE) is accepting applications for the next program that will begin May 28. This program enables participants to earn a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision with a focus in Business and is designed to prepare leaders for high-need charter schools. Applications are due by February 5. (Dec. 21)

Help for Schools:Tools for Knowledge Sharing Updates
The Region VII Comprehensive Assistance Center at the University of Oklahoma and its partner, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, have updated the Help for Schools:Tools for Knowledge Sharing web page. Updates include information about parent/school compacts and making adequate yearly progress, as well as history material on President's Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 5)


Innovations in the News

FASTCOMPANY business magazine has made its first "Social Capitalists" awards for "the top 20 groups that are changing the world." Of the 8 education organizations recognized, three have been featured in The Education Innovator, Aspire Public Schools, Citizen Schools, and NewSchools Venture Fund, while one has been mentioned in the "What's New" column: New Leaders for New Schools. [More-FASTCOMPANY] (Jan. 2004)

Charter Schools
At the Knowledge Is Power Program school in Oakland, California students must adhere to the charter program's underlying principles of high expectations for behavior, longer school days, and challenging curricula. About 99% of KIPP students win scholarships to prestigious high schools. [More-San Francisco Chronicle] (Dec. 29)

It took Minnesota's charter schools 10 years to reach the 10,000-student enrollment mark. But with rapidly expanding interest, charter schools may reach 20,000 students in half that time. [More-Duluth News Tribune] (Dec. 29)

The place was an abandoned and sagging men's lodge, on a sagging block in a sagging neighborhood in the District of Columbia. This area, with too much crime and too little work, is now home to Maya Angelou public charter school. [More-PBS News Hour] (Dec. 29)

Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that manages 10 charter schools in Northern California, was named one of America's top social entrepreneurial groups in a new ranking by Fast Company business magazine. [More-The San Jose Mercury News] (Dec. 23)

Teacher Quality
A growing number of school districts across the country are using job-sharing to ease teacher shortages and stem burnout. Veteran teachers share daily e-mails and frequent phone calls as they seamlessly coordinate the activities of their sixth-grade classroom. [More-Journal and Constitution (Atlanta)] (Dec. 22)

Challenging Coursework
In a push to take No Child Left Behind from theory to reality and close the achievement gap, a Bonsall (CA) middle school is working to ensure that more Latino students enter college prep classes once they reach high school. [More-The North County Times] (Dec. 28)

The intense International Baccalaureate curriculum at five local Arizona High Schools is attracting students to these college preparatory programs in large numbers. [More-The Arizona Republic] (Dec. 15)

Virtual Schools
One Indiana educator can teach students in such far-off places as Guam, Germany, and Israel without ever leaving the comfort of her home. [More-The Northwest IN Times] (Dec. 22)


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Last Modified: 06/28/2011