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The Delaplaine: Because Everyone Deserves Art

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Back in the early 1980s, a dedicated visual arts center in the center of downtown Frederick, Maryland, was just a dream — that was, until a grassroots effort by artists and art-enthusiasts set out to make that dream into a reality. Today, The Delaplaine Arts Center is a popular attraction along Carroll Creek Park, as well as community gathering place and anchor for Frederick’s East Street Corridor.

The Delaplaine welcomes more than 85,000 visitors annually to its seven galleries, featuring artworks by local, regional, and national artists and groups. More than 55 exhibition are held on-site and at satellite galleries in public libraries around the region. The Delaplaine also offers more than 250 classes and workshops in a variety of media for all skill levels and ages each year, as well as monthly public programs and special events. The art center is open daily, and admission is always free.

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The art center also is passionate about bringing the arts to all corners of the community, reflected by its vision that ‘everyone deserves art.’

“We truly believe that vision,” states Catherine Moreland, Delaplaine CEO. “That’s why we are all about tearing down barriers between the community we serve and the visual arts. It’s why we offer all the classes and programs that we do; it’s why we offer diverse exhibits; it’s why our admission is free; it’s why we partner with other nonprofits.”

The Delaplaine’s Community Outreach Initiative partners the organization with a range of other nonprofits such as Alzheimer’s Association, Arc, Head Start, Housing Authority of Frederick, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Frederick County Department of Aging, and others, as well as local public libraries and schools, to bring free customized art experiences to the at-risk and underserved in the region. There are also other component programs, like the Art Kit Project, which provides quality art supplies free to youth experiencing crises or homelessness. The programs are impacting thousands each year, bringing encouragement and creativity, and improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and all in the community.

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The Delaplaine’s outreach has grown over the past decade and there is no slow-down anticipated in the goal to reach everyone in the region.

“The opportunities for outreach are endless,” explains Caitlin Gill, Community Outreach Program Manager. “The Delaplaine encourages innovation and growth, and we are forging new partnerships, improving existing ones, and growing programs to allow us to reach all in the community.”

“From improving school readiness in preschoolers, to providing help with cognitive and memory issues in adults and seniors, art is impacting lives,” says Moreland. “Our members, donors, and friends broaden and deepen that impact.”

LearnServe Helps Young People Find Their Voice

By Scott Rechler, Learn Serve International

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LearnServe believes in the power of young people to affect social change, and in the power of social change work to shape young leaders.

Youth have the energy, creativity, and passion to identify injustice and drive innovative change,yet often feel powerless to act on that potential. LearnServe helps them find their voice. We envision a new generation of young leaders standing up for the issues that matter to them most.
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A basketball tournament designed to bridge DC teens and police officers. English classes for immigrant and refugee students in northern Virginia. Support for girls building self-confidence and a healthy body image. A fleet of electric school buses. Meet the high school students behind these dynamic new ideas and more at the 8th Annual LearnServe Panels and Venture Fair on Thursday, April 27 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Washington Latin Public Charter School (5200 2nd St NW, Washington, DC 20011).
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Students teams will present their ideas in short pitches to panels of business and community leaders, and in a science-fair style exhibition with the opportunity to win up to $200 in seed funding for their projects. RSVP online at http://learn-serve.org/programs/fellows/2017-panels-venture-fair.

LearnServe International is a non-profit organization that equips students from diverse backgrounds with the entrepreneurial vision, tenacity, confidence, and leadership skills needed to tackle social challenges at home and abroad.

Each year LearnServe brings together 100+ students from public, charter, and independent schools in the Washington, DC area. We strengthen their academic and professional success through three complementary programs. The LearnServe Fellows program guides students as they design and launch entrepreneurial ventures with social goals. LearnServe Abroad introduces social innovation through a global lens, as students volunteer with entrepreneurs overseas. Seeding Social Innovation offers curriculum materials to bring social entrepreneurship into the classroom.

We invite you to join the community of individuals, businesses, and schools committed to sparking a new generation of social entrepreneurs across the DC region. Get involved and learn more about our programs at www.learn-serve.org.

Guest Post: One World Education

Today we welcome Eric Goldstein, Founder & Executive Director of One World Education (OWEd) to GoodWorks. OWEd provides middle and high school common core literacy programs and publishes student essays about cultural and global issues, promoting peer-to-peer learning and building skills for college and career writing. Founded in 2007, the teacher-created nonprofit has been recognized throughout the Capital Region as an outstanding literacy program that improves and celebrates student writing. Nationally, OWEd has been featured on Edutopia, ASCD’s Education Blog, Huffington Post, Comcast Newsmakers, and CBS News. In 2013, OWEd was selected as the first writing program to be adopted for all DC Public High Schools.Prior to One World Education, Eric was a middle and high school teacher in a DC Charter School. We’re delighted to welcome Eric & the OWEd team as a new 2013/14 Catalogue partner!

Step Back & Move Forward

by Eric Goldstein, Founder & Executive Director, One World Education

Sometimes the most effective step an organization can take toward improving its programming is to improve the organization behind its programming. Seven years ago in an 8th grade Charter School classroom, where One World Education (OWEd) was created with my 8th grade students, thinking about anything other than involving more students in our successful writing project wasn’t even a speck on the radar.

The success of that classroom project propelled OWEd’s expansion into a citywide organization. Now the organization provides in DC middle and high schools. As students strengthen the skills needed for college and career-level writing, they learn to write and frame arguments about cultural and global issues that they care about. The organization then on its website with aligned curriculum, so students can read and learn about these topics from the perspective of their peers.

Just as our programs ensure that teachers have strong plans for their students, OWEd followed suit and used the last school year to preparing its own strategic goals. The results have spearheaded program improvements, expansion, and more efficient partner collaboration. As a new member organization in the Catalogue of Philanthropy Community, I’ll use this blog post to share some of One World Education’s goals for long-term success and sustainability.

First, schools had asked OWEd about offering more in-school, professional development (PD). We realized that a higher quality of writing was coming from students whose teachers had participated in our trainings. In response, OWEd developed a Teacher Trainer Academy where our educator team trains a teacher from each partner school. These teachers then lead OWEd’s PD in their own schools – creating leadership opportunities, fostering collaboration, and ensuring program expertise exists in each partner school.

Second, OWEd needed to change its partnership model to be more effective. This year the organization transitioned from working with individual schools to working with school districts and Charter school networks. For the 2013-2014 school year, OWEd partnered with DC Public Schools (DCPS) to implement a citywide, high school writing program. Every 9th and 10th grade DCPS student and teacher has the opportunity to participate in the One World Writing Program this year.

OWEd’s third goal was to deepen its commitment to evaluation. With the DCPS partnership in place, OWEd needed a strong evaluation partner to assess our work with 3,500 DCPS high school students and their teachers. This summer, OWEd contracted the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University to lead this citywide evaluation.

The importance of having a strong, long-term plan is often overlooked in the face of short-term gains. As OWEd programs have demonstrated the ability to create successful teaching and learning experiences in classrooms, the organization was also successful in accomplishing its own goals over the past year. I want to thank those of you who have been a part of this accomplishment.

Thank you for your commitment to education and philanthropy.

To learn more about One World Education, please visit, www.oneworldeducation.org and keep up with Eric’s monthly blog here.

Around Town 10/25-10/31

We are in the final stretch of October (can you believe it?)! See what these great nonprofits are doing to help October go out with a bang! Continue reading

In The News …

The Effect Of Youth Unemployment On Crime (DCentric via Justice Policy Institute): “DC has an unemployment disparity, in which joblessness is very low in wealthy neighborhoods, while low-income neighborhoods have Depression-era unemployment rates. The Justice Policy Institute report also showed how unemployment is chronically high in places with a lot of crime.” A graph of 2010 property crimes, violent crimes, and unemployment rates by DC Ward show that the three correlate almost exactly. The report also points out that “as compared to their more advantaged peers who may have received more preparation from their family, school and overall community environment, youth from low-income areas of the District may need additional guidance to meet the expectations of the workplace.”

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A Creative Test

From “Schools We Can Envy” in the New York Review of Books:

Faced with the relentless campaign against teachers and public education, educators have sought a different narrative, one free of the stigmatization by test scores and punishment favored by the corporate reformers. They have found it in Finland. [...]

Finland has spent the past forty years developing a different education system, one that is focused on improving the teaching force, limiting student testing to a necessary minimum, placing responsibility and trust before accountability, and handing over school- and district-level leadership to education professionals.

To an American observer, the most remarkable fact about Finnish education is that students do not take any standardized tests until the end of high school. They do take tests, but the tests are drawn up by their own teachers, not by a multinational testing corporation. The Finnish nine-year comprehensive school is a “standardized testing-free zone,” where children are encouraged to know, to create, and to sustain natural curiosity.”

The entire article is certainly worth a read, but I was particularly struck by the emphasis on “the development of each child as a thinking, active, creative person” — all qualities that are not only outside the realm of standardized test-taking, but that are arguably more essential to long-term development than the material on a standardized test. So what do you think? Do the words that we use to discuss public education reform themselves need reforming?

In The News …

Objections to Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (WAMU: Diane Rehm Show): “The widely praised Violence Against Women Act faces a tough reauthorization battle. Though introduced in a bipartisan way, it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote with all the Democrats voting to move it to the full Senate and all the Republicans voting against.” Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, explains that the bill “as passed out of the Senate committee, recognizes the LGBT community immigrant women who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse;” but the bill does not include a “mandate for holding batterers accountable” or a reparations provision. 17 Catalogue nonprofits, including the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, focus particularly on girls and women and women; learn more right here.

President Obama’s Budget Request for the NEA: The Fine Print (Americans for the Arts blog): “We learned early that morning that President Obama is proposing an increase of $8 million (from $146M to $154M) for the NEA, which was a very positive start. In the past two years, NEA funding has dropped almost $22M and has yet to recover from the enormous cuts from its high of $176M in 1992. In particular, the budget of the Our Town program, which rewarded over half of its grants to communities of less than 200,000 in 2011, would increase from $5 million to $10 million. Two months ago, the NEA also announced Operation Homecoming, a partnership with the Department of Defense that will host “a new series of writing workshops for returning troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”

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Teachers & Students

From “With Hispanic students on the rise, Hispanic teachers in short supply” in yesterday’s Post:

The surge in Hispanic students across the nation is forcing schools to reckon with a deep shortage of teachers who share their cultural heritage.

More than 21 percent of schoolchildren are Hispanic, experts report, compared with 7 percent of teachers. No other racial or ethnic minority group has such a wide disparity. In the struggle to close this gap, the stakes are high: Research suggests that a more diverse faculty might lead to better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher test scores. [...] Of 126,000 students in Maryland’s second-largest system [Prince George's], 21 percent are Hispanic. But among teachers, the share is 2 percent.
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In The News …

DCPS needs more than money to attract top teachers (Greater Greater Washington): “DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown plans to draft a bill that focuses on recruiting teachers to teach in high-poverty, low-performing schools. However, the incentives he proposes may not be enough to recruit highly effective teachers to work in these schools [...] In addition to monetary incentives to recruit teachers to low performing schools, districts must also motivate effective teachers to stay in these schools through other factors like strong school leadership, access to high-quality professional development, career mobility, and comprehensive induction for new teachers.” Do you agree? Are these intangible benefits in fact more effective in the long-term?

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In The News …

Go Big on Education: Five Big Ideas for the Senate to Put in Federal Education Law (Center for American Progress): “Next week the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act” and CAP here outlines “five big policy ideas the Senate should put in its bill to ensure the next ESEA is big and bold enough to improve the education system, and thus our nation’s economy.” The fifth and final recommendation? Encourage and reward bold thinking by educators, authorizing “competitive programs such as Race to the Top, the Investing in Innovation Fund, or the Teacher Incentive Fund, to spur states and districts to innovation.” Do you agree?

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