This May, we donated the funds raised during our casual Fridays to The Learning Community. We raised $125, and the company matched it for a donation of $250. Loiselle also sponsored their annual fundraiser, Get Smart 2017 held on May 12th. Funds raised go towards their public charter school in Central Falls that serves students from Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence. The school’s co-directors, Sarah Friedman and Meg O’Leary are long-term Loiselle Insurance clients.
The Learning Community is a very successful urban school and a center for research and development. Through innovative techniques and effective partnerships, they hope to systematically improve public schools and the quality of education students receive.
The Learning Community’s programs focus on literacy, critical thinking, and promoting student curiosity. Their innovative model engages parents and creates community, but it also provides a solid base of core skills such as writing, reading and math across all grade levels. The Learning Community serves children from kindergarten to grade 8, and selects students randomly through a lottery.
Oral literacy including speaking, listening, dialogue and debate starts in kindergarten and continues throughout all grade levels. Their recognition and support of students and teachers continues to create success and the demand for classes exceeds capacity.
The Learning Community works in an area with a very high poverty rate (87%), but students excel in standardized state tests. Students significantly exceed the standards in math and reading and they’ve closed achievement gaps in many areas.
A fundamental reason for their success lies in communicating with the family when the student improves or shows excellence, instead of delivering negative news. This concept works so well that 100% of the families participate in parent conferences, which is hardly the case in other schools.
Unfortunately, their success also means a long waiting list for entrance. They have limited space and have over 700 students eagerly awaiting admittance. Teachers want to work with the organization too. Over 250 applied for 4 positions.
They’ve also established The Teaching Studio to share what works with other public schools in an effort to improve public education and academic achievement. They offer training and professional development to educators to help realize this goal.
Even though they achieve remarkable results, it is clear they need to expand. Their ambitious goal is to educate 500 teachers and reach 13,000 students in the next 5 years.
Their deep belief in the importance of our nation’s public school system is very admirable, but they need money to reach their goal. The Teaching Studio is a strong first step, but they have a long way to go.
You can contribute monetarily to this worthwhile cause. Ongoing donations are a fantastic way to provide funds that the organization can count on. However, one-time donations are always welcome, too.
The Learning Community also offers many other ways to make a difference. Box Tops for Education, Target’s Red Card, and Amazon Smile are just a few. Choose what suits you best.