Public Education: A Signature Initiative
| A student at Highlander Charter School uses a computer for adaptive reading instruction. Charter schools often serve as incubators for best practices in education that can be shared with other schools. (Photo: Devio Media and Kate Kelley Photography)
Our primary goal for public education is to lead the effort - with our many community partners - to reduce statewide drop-out rates for at-risk students.
Activities toward the goal
Examples of our integrated grantmaking, development, and community leadership activities toward this goal include:
- Supporting the Westerly Parent Academy, a collaborative network of communitywide learning opportunities designed to support the overall success of youth, parents, and community members. This program will serve as a state pilot that can be replicated if successful.
- Supporting the Highlander Institute as it develops integrated technology and professional development programs to further its work in the areas of accessibility, empowerment, and excellence in education.
- Supporting City Year Rhode Island and its intense mentoring program, In School and On Track, which is focused on fighting the student dropout crisis.
- Supporting, in partnership with W. W. Kellogg Foundation, The Learning Community to expand its nationally-recognized professional development work in reading to five area public elementary schools.
The Foundation is co-sponsoring an education speaker series with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Recent featured speakers for "Building a 21st Century Education System in Rhode Island: Getting it Done" have included:
The Foundation co-hosted with WRNI, Rhode Island's NPR station, a community forum, "What makes a great teacher?" This community forum series is made possible with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Spotlight on public education
What makes this work possible?
The Foundation has committed a significant amount of unrestricted funds - dollars given by generous Rhode Islanders who have left the decision of what the state's most pressing needs are to the Foundation - as well as field of interest funds for education to improve public education. Examples of field of interest funds for education established through the years include the Alice M. Howland Fund, established in 1944, and the Norman and Dorothy R. McCulloch, established 50 years later.
If you also want to improve public education in Rhode Island, we invite you to join us. Call or email Denise Jenkins, grant programs officer, (401) 427-4008.