49.  Describe plans to recruit and retain adult family members in the proposed program.

 As a result of a training conference sponsored by the 21st CCLC for the 2013-2014 academic year, a team of educators from our district had an opportunity to participate in a year-long national model for parent/teacher collaboration which links student learning to school-hosted, family engagement events. We learned that the tradition of defining family engagement around parent teacher conference nights that leave little time for teachers to educate parents about new core standards, or to even help them understand where their child is in relation to where they should be on the new core standards testing assessments are, in general, counter-productive. We actually took that training to heart and began the task of re-educating our teachers and parents in the kind of parent/teacher collaboration that connects learning with parental involvement. Our strategy to recruit and retain adult family members in the proposed program involves a 3-throng effort.

First, and in order to forge new relationships with parents that will stress our intent to provide parents with the tools they need to help their children at home, we will conduct three 90-minute sessions with parents in grade-specific groups during the course of the year (quarterly). These benchmark sessions are designed to explain the new common core standards and what is required for student achievement and success; de-mystify the academic jargon so that parents are empowered to ask the right questions and understand the answers they receive; identify for parents where their child stands academically with students in their class as well as where they need to be by year end (establishing benchmarks); and helping parents set SMART goals for their child with the teacher assisting.

These quarterly-held sessions allow for parent-to-parent engagement; parental engagement in the setting of academic achievement goals for their own child and not just by the State of Arizona; and they allow teachers to place parents together in learning centers just as their children are placed – in order for parents to better understand the dynamics of the learning environment experienced by their child, as well as to actually participate in the same learning activities that their child participates in.

They are of course provided with an explanation of the core concept that their child is working on in math or literacy in the classroom. This, in turn, provides parents with insight and experiential understanding of the learning process for their child’s grade, and is beneficial in their utilization of specific resources and take-home exercises (provided by their child’s teacher during the 90 minute sessions).

The second prong of the recruitment/retention effort involves the teachers themselves. As teachers become coaches, the traditional contact between parents and teachers becomes less adversarial and much-less one-sided with the teacher bearing the full responsibility for a child’s academic success. This means that as part of our strategy to recruit adult family members, all teaching staff – irrespective of their employment as teaching staff in the afterschool program – become strong recruiters for the 21st CCLC program. Since parents will be better able to connect learning activities with games, extra time on academic tasks, homework help, and developmental activities designed to raise their self-esteem and praise even the smallest successes, it is our expectation that retention for both parents and students should grow as the after school program is seen as a function of the SMART goals that parents set for their children. As well, we would expect that parents would be more willing volunteers as reading buddies – for example – in the after school program. 

The final prong of our strategy is that parents, under this new approach, become better advocates in the community for their school. As families are provided with tools and resources to help at home, and they become better educated and informed, they become stronger allies in terms of helping us identify and partner with community organizations which exist for the purpose of helping to build strong families and strong communities. This will clearly help further our sustainability plans and needs – as these are the organizations from which our families purchase goods and services.

* 56. Describe how your program design offers specific, realistic and comprehensive targeted intervention and academic enrichment opportunities.

We have targeted the bottom 25% of our student population in grades K through 12 for 21st CCLC intervention. In addition to the numerous district assessments that are readily available for our individual student prescriptions, The Thoughtful Classroom provides a number of inventory assessments that our after school program teachers will be trained to use in order to benchmark the supplemental services students receive. Each tool we have selected for our teachers and tutors to use in the provision of academic intervention for math, language arts/literacy intervention meet the following criteria: A) Each intervention tool is compatible with Galileo which is what the day school teachers currently use for assessment, tracking, and forecasting. B) Each intervention tool is Arizona standards-based, and provides grade-level strategies and activities that are engaging and kid-friendly. C) Each intervention tool has some bridge with technology, whether students are doing on-line research with computers, using mobile devices like e-readers, or involves students in a software program specifically selected because of its e-learning component.

D) Each intervention tool is an academic resource that will be used in conjunction with a lesson plan designed to strengthen a student’s understanding, strengthen a test-taking skill, provide repetition of a learning objective, or provide more time in practice. An example would include interactive math games and manipulatives.

 Besides small group and 1:1 tutoring sessions, we will also be using Study Island which is an academic, standards based assessment and instruction software program. Besides its technology aspect, the strength of Study Island is that it includes standards based assessment practices and drills for students, it is grade-level specific, it tracks individual student performance in real-time, it identifies individual learning gaps, and it monitors student progress. Currently, our district has enjoyed tremendous success with our K thru 6th graders using the Spalding Method which places an emphasis on phonemic awareness, vocabulary, literacy and multi-sensory learning tools. We will use the Spalding Method in the after school program in order to provide continuity, as well as use other kid-friendly technology tools like e-readers, coupled with other kinds of youth development programs like the Yearbook Club, the Film Club, and planned field trips to a children’s theatre, to ensure that all of the interventions we utilize as a district instructional team will be consistent, complementary, and fun and engaging as well.
 
Finally, we have selected The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum specifically for our after school program staff because it provides teachers with ready kits of resources and tools that they can use immediately once they do an initial benchmark assessment and strategize a student’s prescription. 

We have also included two other offerings for family members in our program design. As a result of parent survey findings, we are planning to offer an ELL class to our families for parents who want to strengthen their command of English. These classes will be taught by a highly qualified instructor. Secondly, we anticipate in our next program year to offer the ASU American Dream Academy program which is a 10 week class designed to engage K through 12 parents in planning and preparing their children for college. As there is a waiting list for this program, we will not be able to offer it in the first program year of our grant; but anticipate that we will be able to do so in the second year. Finally, we are offering a program called “Not My Kid.”
 
It has two components. The first includes sessions geared to 6th through 12th grade students and is comprised of young adults who share their real life experiences with addictions in order to inspire positive choices in youth. The second component is geared toward parents. Parental sessions are taught by community parents, former police officers, FBI agents and other experts in their field. These sessions can be offered in the morning or during after school and include the following adult presentations: Substance Abuse, Internet Safety, and Bullying. Parents receive take home handouts, as well as a home drug test ($40 value).

73. For each of the Academic objectives describe specific activities that will clearly allow the program to progress towards the stated objectives. Following each activity, indicate the timeframe the activity will be occurring (e.g., “daily throughout the year,” “monthly throughout the year,” “daily during the specific objective number.


1.1/1.2 English Language/Literacy activities aligned to the school improvement plan and the AZ Common Core Standards: Students will be initially given the “Learning Style Inventory for Students” (part of The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum) to determine what each student’s diverse thinking and learning style may be. This assessment will then enable teachers and tutors to strategize a prescription for each student. Instructors and tutors will then use a differentiated approach to tutoring and academic assistance in four key areas of academic literacy through the use of The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum.  These include Reading and Study Skills (the ability to make sense of abstract academic vocabulary and collect and organize ideas through note-making); Reflective Skills (the ability to construct plans to address questions and tasks); Thinking Skills (the ability to draw conclusions, conduct comparisons using specific criteria, and analyze the demands of a variety of higher-order thinking questions); and Communication Skills (the ability to write clear, well-formed coherent explanations, write comfortably in the terms of problem/solution, decision making, argument, and comparative).
 
Specifically, our teachers will use the following tools for reading, ELL proficiency, and literacy from The Thoughtful Classroom: “Reading for Meaning: How to Build Students’ Comprehension, Reasoning, and Problem-Solving Skills,” “Reading In Style: Differentiated Reading Activities for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry,” “Reading for Academic Success, Grades 2-6: Differentiated Strategies for Struggling, Average, and Advanced Readers,” “Reading For Academic Success: Powerful Strategies for Struggling, Average, and Advanced Readers, Grades 7-12.” Students will be placed in grade-specific tutoring centers each day, with teachers and tutors required to complete daily lesson plans and daily review student prescriptions and progress reports). (The results of the initial learning style inventory for each student along with their academic prescription will be kept in individualized student files so that day school staff and after school program staff are able to collaborate more effectively with regard to their academic prescriptions.) In addition to small group and 1:1 tutoring services, teachers and tutors will then utilize a variety of academic resources to assist students, including literacy games and software (A+) as well as e-readers to ensure that students are exposed to a diverse range of technology learning tools. Our partnership with First Books Organization will allow us to provide students with free, brand new books to reward them when they set and reach their own reading and literacy proficiency goals.

1.3 Math activities aligned to the school improvement plan and the AZ Common Core Standards: Students will be initially given the “Learning Style Inventory for Students” (part of The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum) to determine what each student’s diverse thinking and learning style may be. This assessment will then enable teachers and tutors to strategize a prescription for each student. Specifically, our teachers will use the following lesson planning tools (from The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum) to provide small group and 1:1 academic services to our students targeted for intervention: “Math Tools, Grades 3-12: 60+ Ways to Build Mathematical Practices, Differentiate Instruction, and Increase Student Engagement,” “Styles and Strategies for Teaching Middle School Mathematics: 21 Techniques for Differentiating Instruction and Assessment,” and “Styles and Strategies for Teaching High School Mathematics: 21 Techniques for Differentiating Instruction and Assessment.”

 Students will be placed in grade-specific tutoring centers each day, with teachers and tutors required to complete daily lesson plans. In addition, the results of the initial learning style inventory for each student along with their academic prescription will be kept in individualized student files so that day school staff and after school program staff are able to collaborate more effectively. The program design calls for teachers and tutors to use a variety of academic resources to assist students, incding math games and 1:1 individualized instruction.
 
Besides small group and 1:1 tutoring sessions, we will also be using Study Island which is an academic, standards based assessment and instruction software program. Besides its technology aspect, the strength of Study Island is that it includes standards based assessment practices and drills for students, it is grade-level specific, it tracks individual student performance in real-time, it identifies individual learning gaps, and it monitors student progress. Currently, our district has enjoyed tremendous success with our K thru 6th graders using the Spalding Method which places an emphasis on phonemic awareness, vocabulary, literacy and multi-sensory learning tools. We will use the Spalding Method in the after school program in order to provide continuity, as well as use other kid-friendly technology tools like e-readers, coupled with other kinds of youth development programs like the Yearbook Club, the Film Club, and planned field trips to a children’s theatre, to ensure that all of the interventions we utilize as a district instructional team will be consistent, complementary, and fun and engaging as well.

 Finally, we have selected The Thoughtful Classroom curriculum specifically for our after school program staff because it provides teachers with ready kits of resources and tools that they can use immediately once they do an initial benchmark assessment and strategize a student’s prescription. 

We have also included two other offerings for family members in our program design. As a result of parent survey findings, we are planning to offer an ELL class to our families for parents who want to strengthen their command of English. These classes will be taught by a highly qualified instructor. Secondly, we anticipate in our next program year to offer the ASU American Dream Academy program which is a 10 week class designed to engage K through 12 parents in planning and preparing their children for college. As there is a waiting list for this program, we will not be able to offer it in the first program year of our grant; but anticipate that we will be able to do so in the second year. Finally, we are offering a program called “Not My Kid.”
 
It has two components. The first includes sessions geared to 6th through 12th grade students and is comprised of young adults who share their real life experiences with addictions in order to inspire positive choices in youth. The second component is geared toward parents. Parental sessions are taught by community parents, former police officers, FBI agents and other experts in their field. These sessions can be offered in the morning or during after school and include the following adult presentations: Substance Abuse, Internet Safety, and Bullying. Parents receive take home handouts, as well as a home drug test ($40 value).

 


The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and we understand that there are many good, solid copywriting and grants writing firms that you can give your business to. We appreciate the time you have taken to give Synergy360 a look-over.



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About the Importance of Asking, Seeking, Finding, and Knocking

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

When you ask for something, usually, it is something that you have thought about, yearned for at some level or other, and made some decisions about – in terms of a need that will be met with the fulfillment of the request. With God, what a tremendous invitation and privilege it is to be able to go directly to the One who called forth the heavens and the earth out of nothing and brought forth a glorious crescendo of beauty, vegetation, mankind, and life of every sort and kind. This God who is the great Creator, is the One who says, “Ask.”  Can you imagine?  The One who conceived of this vast universe and everything that exists beyond it, knows what it is to dream, envision, imagine, develop and design. He also knows what needs to happen in a certain sequence to bring something to fruition. Can you imagine? That means that every creation has cried out for the next step of life development and sustenance. Every creation has been in a position where it has had to ask, seek, find, or knock.
 
I almost hate to end this post, because there is so much more revelation to this. Father Knows that asking and seeking are two different things, seeking and finding are two different things, and knocking at a possibility is an altogether different thing. I encourage you to go to God in prayer and seek His wisdom about the differences. What He says will surprise and delight you.

About Instability In Our Circumstances

 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.”  Philippians 4:12

I am so glad that I have had trouble in my life and that there were even times when I didn’t think I would make it. It helped me to grow and to mature and it gave me a resolve to choose faith over defeat. The balancing of both the destitute and the plenty makes manifest the secret of being able to go with the flow of life. And what is that secret? It is thankfulness and contentment. People who never reach contentment and who are unable to simply be thankful that things are as well as they are, will not experience contentment in the best of times either. The dissatisfaction that things are not perfect or all that they want them to be will be the overriding complaint in their lives.  Just as things could be much better, things could also be unbearable. Sometimes in the good times of life, we forget where God brought us from and what He brought us out of. Unfortunately, it is not good to forget.

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About My Biggest Hindrance  

 “Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing. I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.” Psalm 17:3

If somebody did some data collection on which of our members causes us to sin most often, I predict that our mouths would top the list. Think about it, your mouth causes you to sin more than your hands, your feet, and your eyes.  James declared it to be unruly.  “Unruly” means undisciplined, headstrong, stubborn, willful, and determined to have its own way. Worse still, our mouths are attached to us day in and day out and subject to unruliness at the slightest provocation! If you let it, it will drag you around from pillar to post and keep you in hot water with yourself. Do you now understand the gravity of the issues with your mouth? So what is the answer?

You have to decide at a personal level that you will not give space to a headstrong, willful tongue that thinks it can say what it wants and when it wants to, and leave people bloody and broken in its wake. The Word indicates that it is the matters of the heart and the trials of life which provide fodder for an unruly tongue. Confront the sins of your tongue with discipline so that it does not keep you in repentance mode.

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Trying To Help A 16-Year-Old With Only 5 High School Credits???


See yourself sitting at the high school graduation of a teen charged to your care who's got attitude to spare! She's missing so many high school credits...when you first met her, you couldn't tell if she was just starting school or had never been.


You've had to deal with this same kid so many times before -- only the name and face is different. We're talking about chunks of learning in math and reading -- lost, stopped, or never acquired. She's streetwise to a fault -- but not smart enough to finish high school. With that thought, your heart sinks. Like so many others you've tried to rescue from the streets, this one will likely end up victimizing somebody else for a few dollars and some change...if you don't intervene...


You don't dare ask for a miracle, here. You were just hoping you could at least get them stable and back in school. But making up for lost credits that she lost way back in the ninth and tenth grades...and graduating? Even in your wildest imagination, you never hoped for that possibility.


A Solution That Is Working For Kids Who Can't Do Traditional School


Now imagine this. You hear the principal call your former drop-out's name over the mic to come to the stage to receive their diploma. You shake your head in wonder as you realize that Online High School didn't just keep their promise to help this kid make up for lost credits, but they got the following extra services and help:


  • FREE Summer school with FREE meals and Free bus passes
  • Free Access to a Computer Lab for AM and PM Sessions
  • An Individualized, Self-Paced Curriculum with Live Instructors
  • GED Preparation for Students Aged 22 and Over


You still can't believe that your decision to enroll her in Online High School also brought some other crazy-good benefits. For one thing, the same teen who was so far behind in credits that she had long since given up -- has completed her diploma, and been recruited by a locally accredited trade school. You couldn't believe your ears when you heard she could easily land a journeyman's apprenticeship upon completion of her license -- earning up to $25 an hour or $50,000 annually with benefits. This was one of those totally unexpected blessings that make you glad you do what you do for a living!


All it took was dialing 480.222.2222, Extension 481 and asking for the registrar of Online High School or going directly to our website www.onlinehighschool.com and making that intervention. All it took was becoming the one person in this kid's life to believe that change was possible.


At Online High School we understand that starting again is the hardest part of finishing for kids who are accustomed to failure. You and I both know that it is impossible to make up for lost time...But here at Online High School, we make it possible for your teen to make up for lost credits so that graduating from high school -- moves into the realm of possibility.


If they could do it on their own, they wouldn't need you to make that phone call on their behalf. We're here to partner with you to get this kid back on track and get what may be their final chance at having a productive life. Call us today at 480.222.2222, Extension 481 to start the enrollment process and ask specifically to speak to our Registrar.


Why wait until the new academic year starts? Get them enrolled right away in Summer School by going directly to our website at www.onlinehighschool.com. Summer School is free. The tutoring is free. The computer lab is brand new with brand new equipment. The teachers are highly qualified and accustomed to working with students who can't make it in a traditional classroom environment. Our experienced Registrar is expecting your call today -- we will help you figure out the logistics.


W.R. Wigglesworth

Student Services Coordinator


p.s. Did I mention that every course they complete in Summer School counts toward the credits they need to graduate from high school? We give them every opportunity to succeed. Make that call today at 480.222.2222, Extension 481.


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