Today, the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recognized 24 organizations from across the nation as Together for Tomorrow (TFT) Challenge winners for the 2012-2013 school year. Together for Tomorrow is a joint initiative of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships together with the U.S. Department of Education and CNCS, that recognizes community-led partnership to support struggling schools. TFT honorees include 24 initiatives that met criteria set out in the Department's Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge. An additional 7 TFT demonstration sites operating as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA program through CNCS were also honored today.
"When it comes to turning around low-performing schools, the Department's investments and the work of schools and districts are only part of the solution," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Our schools need community engagement to support and sustain school improvement. The Together for Tomorrow Challenge winners we recognize today have made model commitments to help foster partnerships, propel school improvement, and produce better outcomes for students. To sustain change over the long haul, nothing is more important."
"Time after time, we have seen how committed parents and community volunteers can make a powerful difference in the educational outcomes of our students," said Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer. "Today we shine the spotlight on 31 initiatives that are bringing together citizens and communities to help young people achieve their best in school and prepare for success in life."
The Challenge has been an opportunity for schools and districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to join with other partners in efforts to improve their neediest schools by raising key measurable student outcomes: Attendance, Behavior, Course performance and College access, known as the ABCs. Plans were submitted to give national recognition to new partnerships as well as spotlight and expand existing exemplary initiatives to strengthen a community culture of educational success in struggling schools. The Challenge is not a new grant program, but rather an approach to better coordinate resources and efforts, including many through U.S. Department of Education and CNCS programs.
TFT aims to change the fundamental relationship between schools and community partners so that working toward positive results for our lowest-performing schools is viewed as everyone's responsibility.
Together for Tomorrow Challenge Winners:
Red Clay Consolidated School District, Wilmington, DE
St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Orlando, FL
Points of Light, Atlanta, GA
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA
Waterloo Community School District, Waterloo, IA
Elev8, Chicago, IL & Baltimore, MD
One Church One School, Chicago, IL
Roxbury Presbyterian Church Social Impact Center, Roxbury, MA
Mount Clemens Community Schools, Mount Clemens, MI
United Way of Greater Duluth, Equity and Excellence in Education, Duluth, MN
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, St. Louis, MO
Joplin Schools, Joplin, MO
United Way of Forsyth County, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV
Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY
United Way of New York City & Diplomas Now, New York, NY
East End Community Services, Dayton, OH
It's My Community Initiative, Oklahoma City, OK
Oregon State University Science and Mathematics Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE), Corvallis, OR
EducationWorks, Philadelphia, PA
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Providence's Children and Youth Cabinet, Providence, RI
Gestalt Community Schools, Memphis, TN
Navasota ISD, Navasota, TX
Together for Tomorrow Demonstration Sites:
Center Public Schools, Center, CO
Foundation for Educational Excellence / Denver Summit Schools Network, Denver, CO
Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut / United Way of Greater New Haven United Way, New Haven, CT
Heart of Florida United Way / Orange County Public Schools / Office of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando, FL
Tulane University Center for Public Service, New Orleans, LA
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit, MI
Tennessee Campus Compact / Achievement School District, Memphis, TN