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News February 2012

In this issue: Derek Jeter Turn2 Foundation Sponsors YLA. . . Save the Date for Urban Tech’s 2012 Gala . . . . Adopt-a-School Provides Valuable Services. . . . Thank you to our 2011 Donors. . . . . . . . . . . . New Directions for YLA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Letter From the President

Pat Bransford Dear Friends, Urban Tech is quickly approaching its 20 year anniversary providing computer training in communities to prepare residents for 21st century jobs and critical social and emotional skills for youth to develop deep insight into positive behavior that leads to success in life. With your help over the last several years, Urban Tech has developed effective programs that have engaged and motivated the nation’s poorest, most underserved community residents to succeed. Low-achieving students in our programs

have made significant academic and socio-emotional gains and Urban Tech’s computer centers have enabled the formerly unemployed to get jobs in technology-based industries. We have made these strides by addressing gaps that are barriers to success in lowincome communities—gaps in access to technology, critical in-demand skills, health education and tutors and mentors for enrichment and retention of learning. Our five-year plan will intensify our efforts to address these gaps and meet the demands of the new workforce by implementing adaptive learning approaches for individualized learning and focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as necessary components for college and careers. We will also provide access to online tutors and mentors and culturally relevant STEM role models that students in low-income communities can relate to. Globalization and advances in technology are changing the

way we learn, communicate and gain access to resources. Most of these changes have happened in the last 10 years. When we began Urban Tech to close the “digital divide” in 1995, barely anyone used email or could perform basic computer tasks. Today, technology is prevalent among all age groups, and students in schools and homes with access to stateof-the-art tools and training are advancing academically and landing computer-related jobs and careers. However, there is a growing gap between these “haves” and “have-nots” in under-resourced communities who lack the skills required for new and “replacement” information technology jobs. According to the Center for Education and the Workforce, the U.S. economy will create 46.8 million job openings—13.8 million new jobs and 33 million “replacement jobs” by 2018. Nearly two-thirds of these jobs—almost 63%—will require workers with at least some college education and higher levels of analytic, critical

thinking, technology and telecommunications skills—skills and abilities that are taught in Urban Tech programs. So our challenge in the next five years is to escalate and intensify our efforts to provide in-demand technology skills for survival and success in the global economy. This means scaling up our effective and proven programs for easy replication so that vulnerable communities can adopt and productively use technology to improve education and increase competitiveness for jobs. We appreciate the donations that we have received, large and small, to adopt schools, train teachers to use innovative educational curriculum that engages youth, and help schools install the necessary technology and high speed access to critical information and resources to gain social and economic equity in an information-driven world. This is an important and critical investment in the nation’s economic future. We thank you for helping us help others to achieve.

Profile in Leadership: Ramón González Ramón González is the founding principal of MS 223—The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, a middle school in the South Bronx. Ramón started his school in one of the most dangerous middle schools in NYC at the time. Less than 10% of his students were at grade level in reading and

mathematics when the school was created. Seven years later, 65% of his students are on grade level in English and 85% in math. His school received national recognition when it was named the 2010 Intel Schools of Distinction Award winner for middle school mathematics. The school received further

national recognition from the Spanish Embassy when selected as the 2011 “colegio de año,” or School of the Year, for its dual language program. Passionate about education and a life-long educator, Ramón received the 2011 Urban Tech Education Leadership Award which was presented by New Ramón González

80 Maiden Lane, Suite 606 New York, NY 10038

Cont’d on p. 7

Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Urban Tech News | February 2012

1


Derek Jeter Turn2 Foundation Recognizes the Importance of YLA for After School Programs In 2010-2011, Derek Jeter’s Turn2 Foundation granted Urban Tech funding to implement a Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) life skills program to reduce negative behaviors and health-compromising activities among youth, ages 6-13, enrolled in Turn2 Afterschool Programs in New York City, by proving positive life-changing experiences during after school hours. Studies show that children who do not receive reinforced learning and enrichment activities during summer and after school hours are less likely to retain academic skills as com-

pared to their peers who are afforded such opportunities. A total of fifty-eight (58) children participated in a thirty-five (35) week YLA after school program at Sorrentino and Jackie Robinson Recreation Centers. Urban Tech’s implementation of the Youth Leadership Academy® has proven to be extremely effective among this student population. The actual results gathered from the 2010-2011 year’s evaluation show significant progress in several areas. Table 1 provides a sample of the results. YLA’s research-based curriculum is organized around 11 modules or “themes” including goal-setting, s e l f - d i s c ove r y, teamwork and conflict resolution targeted to increase academic proficiency, student leadership, healthy habits, and financial lit-

eracy. The curriculum is delivered through animation, interactive exercises, online journaling and internet-based research creating a stimulating learning environment and promoting an image that “it’s cool to be smart.” “I have seen positive changes in my students as we have gone through YLA…the children not

only learned something new about themselves but about each other,” said Danielle Goldfarb, Sorrentino Recreation Center CRC.“It is truly a positive program that has positive after-effects.” Ms. Goldfarb’s sentiments were echoed by all instructors as displayed in the following chart:

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EITC. To help the recipients keep the money in the community and to be good stewards of their wealth, adult community members were able to take part in Hands on Banking® (HOB) and first-time home buyer workshops. Ten youth were trained as YLA youth leaders and certified to train other youth, and 50 middle/high school students participated in YLA and received financial literacy training. The Bridgeport, CT It’s Your Net Worth! Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Financial Literacy Program saw its VITA services prepare tax returns for 150 people, generat-

Urban Tech News | February 2012

Urban Tech’s flagship programs have had significant impact over the last 17 years in providing equal access to technology and unlocking the door in vulnerable communities to critical resources for competitive skills and economic gain. Students who participate in Urban Tech’s programs become motivated and inspired to improve their ability to learn, improve their retention rates, and get top grades in their classes. They are interested in accelerating the process and positioning themselves to achieve their American dreams; and Urban Tech has been in the forefront of education technology for the last several years providing the resources to help students achieve these goals. Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) was established in 1995 to demonstrate potential implications of innovative uses of technology to teach youth with differing levels of

educational attainment. It was also designed to reach student populations who perform poorly in traditional classroom environments allowing them to master core curriculum at their own pace and literacy levels. YLA engages students through technology-rich curriculum including hundreds of interactive games and activities using contemporary music, colorful graphics and animation that broaden their critical thinking, enhance their writing skills and promote the belief that “it’s cool to be smart.” YLA is especially important because of the current lack of rich interactive curriculum dealing specifically with life/ leadership and academic skills in under-served communities. Young people today face tremendous obstacles to success; and without the tools to address these challenges, our kids don’t have a fighting chance. Our plan envisions growing virally with exponential growth

Profile in Leadership

Wells Fargo and Urban Tech Build Community Wealth and Financial Literacy The results are in from the 2011 Urban Tech and Wells Fargosponsored VITA/Financial Literacy Program partnerships in Bridgeport, CT, and Newburgh, NY. The Financial Literacy/VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance)/ Community Development Program in Newburgh, NY saw the installation of a fully-operational SeedTech Computer Training Center (CTC) lab to support its Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and Digital literacy training efforts for youth. Newburgh processed over 100 federal tax returns, generating over $100,000 in tax refunds and $66,000 in

New Directions for YLA

ing almost $70,000 in EITC refunds for the community. As with Newburgh, Bridgeport provided HOB workshops for over 95 families and individuals, and 35 students received financial literacy training through the YMCA after-school program. The training also focused on computer instruction, communication skills, decision-making skills, violence prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, and job readiness skills. Success requires cultivation. “We know that these services to help individuals are vital to helping maintain and expand a community’s financial capacity,” said Gena Davis Watkins,

Urban Tech’s Executive Director. “Our partnership with Wells Fargo has been outstand-

ing, and our local partners in Bridgeport and Newburgh have been so helpful. We look forward to another vibrant collaboration among our partners to expand the programs in both locations over the coming year.”

York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. Urban Tech honored Ramón for his exemplary educational leadership and services to his community and school. Ramón’s community activism has deeply influenced his school community. Students take courses in financial literacy and participate in a schoolwide economy where they can earn, save, and spend “school bucks.” Ramón was named a 2007-2008 Cahn Fellow for Distinguished Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was admitted in 2009 to the Teachers College Urban Education Leadership

from p. 1

Doctoral Program. In 2010, he was named a Principal’s fellow for the Center for Arts Education. In 2011, he won the Sloan Public Service Award for New York Government and was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. He currently serves as a mentor for aspiring school leader interns from City University, Barauch College, Mercy College and Teachers College. He holds a BA from Cornell University, an MS from City College, and an MA and Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a published author who has written about adolescent issues and urban gangs.

in the next five years, reaching millions of users by 2017. This means scaling up YLA for easy replication, building and designing intuitive interfaces and imbedding virtual training for quick adoption. We also need to reach kids where they are spending their time, getting information, communicating with friends and accessing media. Almost one in three children between the ages of 8 and 10 own their own cell phone, and the 13–17 age bracket is the fastest growing segment on smartphone adoption. The rise in popularity of smartphones has brought on a cultural shift in how children access and interact with information. On average, children between the ages of 8 and 18 who own their own smartphone use it daily for 33 minutes of talk and 49 minutes of media consumption. It has become the preferred method for consuming media and also extends to learning, with 62% of students reporting that they would rather use a smartphone than a laptop as a learning tool. To remain in the forefront of education technology and to scale up for growth, Urban Tech has begun to work with Dr. Nishikant Sonwalker, (Sc.D., MIT) to transform YLA’s rich content into mobile applications that can be delivered to iPads in the classroom and reach students on their smartphones. Urban Tech is adding greater customization to its current content using Sonwalter’s “Adaptive Learning Technologies” to address the multiple learning preferences, paces and performance goals of a broad spectrum of learners in inner-city communities; and include on-line personal tutoring (e.g. Khan Academy, etc.), social media and blogs to engage students and transform the one-size fits all classroom to

individualization and a 24/7, always accessible learning environment. With funding, Urban Tech will begin this exciting development of mobile applications and continue to leverage technology for adaptability across a broad range of learning styles. Urban Tech believes that America is finally at the nexus of successfully extending the walls of today’s classroom to connect formal and informal learning modalities that address the needs of diverse learners. With this new partnership and development, Urban Tech will continue to provide tools to the nation’s under-resourced communities for life skills, academic achievement and workforce development using Dr. Sonnwalker’s revolutionary technology that provides a highly effective, efficient, and engaging pathway to improving delivery of education to millions of students. Over time, the body of data from this network will be fed back into the system for tracking, evaluation, upgrade and refinement, and its ultimate goal, adaptive “collaborative filtering”—wherein the accumulated, anonymous data from tens of thousands of users begins to predict accurately the needs of any single user from the first click of a mouse, and then directs the single user’s learning accordingly, adjusting all along the way. As one public school teacher told the YLA design team, “My job is to continuously assess where every student is in relation to the 29 other kids in the class and then give them exactly what they need. But as a practical matter it’s just impossible to do the job I want to do. I need more me’s.” That customization and just-in-time assessment is something “smart software” can be very good at.

Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Urban Tech Would Like to Thank the Following Individuals, Foundations, and Corporations for Their Support in 2011: FOUNDER’S CIRCLE Pat & Tom Bransford BTIG Val Carlotti Goldman Sachs National Black United Fund/Robert “Bob” Williams CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Intel Corporation Latham & Watkins LLP/ Sharon Bowen The Nielsen Company/ Don Lowery David Perlin Pfizer, Inc Turn2 Foundation The Williams Capital Group/Christopher J. Williams BENEFACTORS Bloomberg EmblemHealth Executive Leadership Council Marco Frigeri Alia Jones Harvey JPMorgan Chase Foundation Bettina Klinger Lazard/Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. MikeDP Ventures/ Michael DePaola Rubenstein Public Relations, Inc./ Richard Rubenstein The Starker Family Foundation/Farrel & Steven Starker John Starks Dr. Elgin & Gena Davis Watkins Wells Fargo Foundation Eric Woods/Harlem Vintage & Nectar Wine Bar Kathy & Jeff Zukerman

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PATRONS James Aniello Mr. & Mrs. G. Leonard Baker Vanessa Baylor Johnson Valerie Lancaster Beal Richard Bilello Michelle Bouchard Michael Bower Carole F. Browne Stephen Byrd J.T. (Ted) Childs, Jr. Amanda & Don Clarke Bobbie (Mrs. J. Player) Crosby Jennifer De Rosa Sandy Enuha Alicia G. Everett Hilary & Joseph Feshbach Pamela M. Frederick Godfrey R. Gill Peter Gorman Dawn Hankin-Cliette & Eric A. Cliette Carla Harris Christopher Hein Phyllis Hollis Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Holowesko Jessica & Alan Isaacs Marsh Inc/Jessica Isaacs Lorrie King Tracey E. LaFrano Loida Nicolas Lewis Mr. & Mrs. James Lippman Jodi Malcom Hon. H. Carl & Dr. Joyce Brown McCall Mrs. Hassell McClure Mark Miles The Morrison & Foerster Foundation Paula J. Nailor Jean Marie Poster Marilyn and Hugh B. Price Rori & Steven Shaffer Marcia Siper Lisa M. Squibb Lena Surilov Cara Wallace

Urban Tech News | February 2012

Ty Williams Margaret (Dolly) Williams FRIENDS Alvin Bowles Kimberly Duckett Coaxum Raluca Gold Curtis Harris Jennifer Temps/ Jennifer Singleton Barney Karpfinger/ Red House Fund Eve McGrath Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Nickelberry Hon. Barrington Parker Gerald L. Shargel/ Law offices of Gerald L. Shargel Mr. & Mrs. Brian Sklar Virginia TreherneThomas Amy & Justin Zises SUPPORTERS Susan Branche Brett Carlson Alanna Duffy Monica Duke Hazel Dukes Thelma Dye-Holmes Ione D. Edwards Jill B. Fastenberg Toni G. Fay Peter E. Feinberg Joseph Godwin Shannon J. Hales Joyce K. Haupt Louis Hochman John G. Hopkins Derek Josephs Daniel Kanamori Kyle Kuchera

Jason Kudelka Jessica LaMotta Lisa Kelly Maik Cynthia L. & Walter Morris Valentina Pelinel E. Denise Perry Marquita Pool-Eckert Vikki Pryor Arden Shelton J. Cecil Simpson, Jr. Claire Steinglass Kimberly Stolz Carol & Raymond S. Stolz Paul Wasserman/ AM Property Shelly Wimpfheimer Doris Withers Janet Wright CONTRIBUTORS Diane Ashley Mark Baratta Allison Chrisman Karen Deinzer Michael Dillon Roxanne Febles Francine Fogarty Juliet Nicole Gilliam David J. Goldstein Johanne Holmes Greer Fredrika & Dulany Hill John W. Icke Sarah E. Inkster Fern Khan Linda & Joseph Lillard Charlotte McKines Rhoda Myers Ellena & John O’Toole Michael Richard David K. Storr Randolph Sturrup George L. Van Amson Steven W. Wolfe

Visit our website for the latest news and information

www.urbantech.org

Upcoming 2012 Gala at Capitale

Blair Underwood

Reatha Clark King

We are excited to announce this year’s Gala on June 11 at the historic Capitale. Attracting approximately 300 philanthropists every year from New York City and the surrounding areas, the Gala is establishing itself as one of the City’s premiere fundraisers, honoring those who are invested in improving the education, health, and career readiness of disadvantaged youth in underserved communities. This year’s Gala will proudly honor actor and philanthropist Blair Underwood, renowned philanthropist and corporate and community leader Dr. Reatha Clark King and award-winning journalist and CBS2 News Anchor Maurice DuBois. With the help of our generous sponsors and donors, we hope to reach our goal of $500,000 to sustain and grow Urban Tech’s programs that provide crucial life skills support to students and one-on-one mentoring of teachers in communities that have suffered the most in this economy. Save the date and tell your friends—attend the Gala in support of Urban Tech’s flagship program, the Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) designed to prepare students to graduate from high school and achieve success in college and career.

Save the Date!

Monday, June 11, 2012 Capitale | New York City

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Maurice DuBois

Purchase a 2012 Urban Tech Gala table/ ticket by Thursday, April 19 and receive reserved seating to the Thursday, April 26 Broadway Opening Week Premiere of “A Streetcar Named Desire” starring 2012 Urban Tech Gala Honoree Blair Underwood at The Broadhurst Theater. This offer includes the play and VIP access to the post performance reception with the Broadway cast and producers depending on the level of 2012 Urban Tech Gala contribution. Tickets are limited so order today! For more information on this very special offer and to purchase 2012 Urban Tech Gala tickets, please visit our website, www.urbantech.org or give us a call at (212) 528-7350. Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Lab School of Finance and Technology Joins Adopt-A-School and Scores Big with Parents and Teachers

Adopt-a-School Provides Valuable Services to Schools and After School Programs as Budgets Are Cut Across the Country Urban Tech’s Adopt-a-School Program provides an opportunity for donors to earmark their contributions to specific educational programs in schools and after school programs and see immediate results from their investment,” says Pat Bransford, Urban Tech’s President. With the help of our Adopt-a-School donors, Urban Tech has been able to offer school-based workshops, technology enrichment and professional development of teachers to ensure that students receive the technological training needed for college and careers in the 21st century. Our flagship programs—the Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and the Get Healthy, Get Smart! (GHGS) initiative have demonstrated huge benefits in the

areas of social skills, improved academic scores, healthier living and a focus on learning and school completion. “We realize the urgent need to engage those students now, who have tuned out and are in danger of dropping out of school; your donations have an immediate and lasting impact on their staying power and future success,” says Bransford. “Urban Tech has seen a trend among friends, neighbors and civic groups who wish to support a particular educational program and track the performance of each student in the program. The individual donation is manageable and the collective impact is huge.” Studies of the effectiveness of YLA and GHGS have in-

dicated that students made impressive progress in social competence—they learned how to work together and solve problems cooperatively and, most importantly, are able to articulate their ideas clearly both orally and in writing. Thanks to the varied instructional approaches YLA uses, including culturally sensitive animated scenarios, role-play simulations, and e-journals, teachers are able to successfully engage their students in core academic subjects while also strengthening social and emotional skills and computer literacy. YLA’s APOLLO system tracks each student’s performance over time and allows donors to see first-hand the benefit of their investment.

Beginning in 2012, Urban Tech plans to launch the Adopt-a-School Support Network (ASN). By creating an online community of schools and donors, we can target the specific needs of each institution—whether it be equipment, professional development, or parent workshops—and be immediately responsive. This platform will provide a means of ongoing interaction and communication between Urban Tech, the schools, and donors, and deliver actionable and relevant feedback and fulfillment.

Last year, Intel Corporation earmarked MS223, the Lab School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx, New York, for its Adopt-aSchool donation to promote health and wellness, financial literacy, and student leadership using Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and Get Healthy, Get Smart! (GHGS) initiative.

leadership. Michelle Roy, social studies teacher, said, “I saw my kids, some of whom were moderately interested in my class, at best, sort of “turn on.” They are now participating in the discussion; they want to share, they want to be there. They are a lot more excited to participate because it’s much more “real” to them and immediately relevant to their lives.”

Online Auction

DONATE TO URBAN TECH!

Transform Lives Through the Power of Technology Urban Tech, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education technology corporation, was founded in 1995 to provide access to technology and training to address the widening achievement gap in low-income communities. Today, we are transforming lives through the power of technology. Our primary focus is to provide at-risk youth with social and emotional skills for improved health and academic performance, and provide adults with the resources necessary for longterm employability and economic security. Please consider adding us to your list of tax-deductible contributions to support our programs in 2012. q I would like to support Urban Tech’s work. Enclosed is a check for _________. I am interested in programs for: q Academic Performance q Healthy Habits

q Leadership Development q Financial Literacy

Please complete the following information and send with your tax-deductible contribution to: The National Urban Technology Center, 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 606, New York, New York 10038 or visit www.urbantech.org/contribute to make an online contribution. Thank you for your support!

Name ______________________________________________________________ Street ______________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State ______ Zip ___________________ Phone ________________________ Email _______________________________

4

Urban Tech News | February 2012

St. Barts vacation

Help Urban Tech continue its support for Adopt-aSchool partners, and assist Urban Tech in meeting its additional challenges and critical needs. Browse and bid on exciting travel getaways and other fine items! Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. Proceeds from the online auction help to support Urban Tech’s mission, including added program support for its Adopt-aSchool partners. Go to www.urbantech.org for more information.

From the beginning, this middle school embraced the YLA curriculum and training to provide critical social and emotional skills and in a short period of time, teachers began to see noticeable changes among their students, and even fellow staff members. Nicole Lentino, mathematics teacher, said of YLA: “It has brought me closer to my students. Growing up, I missed the boat on some of these life lessons. YLA actually helped me learn some things along the way about myself.” In June 2011, students led a parent workshop in both English and Spanish supporting both teachers and parents in resolving conflict and communicating their feelings openly and honestly. By enabling students to play an active role in the learning experience as trainers, schools can activate creativity, critical thinking skills for real-world success and student

“Urban Tech’s support for this program has been outstanding,” said Lab School Assistant Principal Tyneka Harrington. “They are right there to help our teachers through any questions; they are there to help our students; they are supporting parent interaction. This should be a model for how to have a partnership with a school.” Principal Ramón González was also quick to notice a change not only among his students but also among his staff. “There are not many programs that you can say have transformed people.” As a school selected for the Adopt-a-School program, Urban Tech and its donors share the same goals with teachers and administrators at MS 233: reaching and teaching middle school students, providing passionate advocates for lifelong learning, and critical skills to compete in the 21st century.

Urban Tech could not continue to provide access to these bestin-class educational resources without the generous support of its donors. Since 2006, Adopt-a-School donations have supported over

50 schools and after school programs in low-income and vulnerable communities across the country. To learn more about Adopt-a-School, please call us at 212-528-7350 or email us at info@urbantech.org.

Urban Tech Helps Students Strengthen Skills for College and Careers Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) focuses on developing skills that include recognizing and managing emotions, developing empathy for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. They are the skills that allow youth to calm themselves when angry, create friendships, resolve conflicts, and make ethical and safe choices. Many of the programs that embrace social and emotional learning (SEL) have been rigorously evaluated and found to have positive impact, not only on lowering the risk of various problems youth face, but also in improving academic learning. A recently published landmark review found that students who receive SEL instruction had more positive attitudes about school and improve an average of 11 percentile points on standardized achievement tests compared to students who did not receive such instruction (http://casel.org/ why-it-matters/benefits-ofsel/meta-analysis/). YLA is a shining example of a research-based, engaging,

pro-social youth development program that can be accessed via the Internet to provide the critical SEL skills for addressing the achievement gap and getting kids ready for college and careers. A technology-rich program, YLA uses multiple modes of learning (instructorled and self-paced), a carefully designed mix of group activities to inspire teamwork, contemporary music and games, relevant exercises that provide real-life experiences, and access to a well-selected online resource library for broader frame of reference to improve life and literacy skills. To build in-demand skills for careers, YLA uses deductive, inductive and exploratory learning styles that are important for the advancement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With help from its school partners and donors, Urban Tech provides in-depth teacher training, parent workshops and can get computers to low-income families for access after school as well as in the classroom. For more information on YLA and the case studies which prove the effectiveness of SEL, please visit: http:// www.urbantech.org.

Urban Tech News | February 2012

5


Lab School of Finance and Technology Joins Adopt-A-School and Scores Big with Parents and Teachers

Adopt-a-School Provides Valuable Services to Schools and After School Programs as Budgets Are Cut Across the Country Urban Tech’s Adopt-a-School Program provides an opportunity for donors to earmark their contributions to specific educational programs in schools and after school programs and see immediate results from their investment,” says Pat Bransford, Urban Tech’s President. With the help of our Adopt-a-School donors, Urban Tech has been able to offer school-based workshops, technology enrichment and professional development of teachers to ensure that students receive the technological training needed for college and careers in the 21st century. Our flagship programs—the Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and the Get Healthy, Get Smart! (GHGS) initiative have demonstrated huge benefits in the

areas of social skills, improved academic scores, healthier living and a focus on learning and school completion. “We realize the urgent need to engage those students now, who have tuned out and are in danger of dropping out of school; your donations have an immediate and lasting impact on their staying power and future success,” says Bransford. “Urban Tech has seen a trend among friends, neighbors and civic groups who wish to support a particular educational program and track the performance of each student in the program. The individual donation is manageable and the collective impact is huge.” Studies of the effectiveness of YLA and GHGS have in-

dicated that students made impressive progress in social competence—they learned how to work together and solve problems cooperatively and, most importantly, are able to articulate their ideas clearly both orally and in writing. Thanks to the varied instructional approaches YLA uses, including culturally sensitive animated scenarios, role-play simulations, and e-journals, teachers are able to successfully engage their students in core academic subjects while also strengthening social and emotional skills and computer literacy. YLA’s APOLLO system tracks each student’s performance over time and allows donors to see first-hand the benefit of their investment.

Beginning in 2012, Urban Tech plans to launch the Adopt-a-School Support Network (ASN). By creating an online community of schools and donors, we can target the specific needs of each institution—whether it be equipment, professional development, or parent workshops—and be immediately responsive. This platform will provide a means of ongoing interaction and communication between Urban Tech, the schools, and donors, and deliver actionable and relevant feedback and fulfillment.

Last year, Intel Corporation earmarked MS223, the Lab School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx, New York, for its Adopt-aSchool donation to promote health and wellness, financial literacy, and student leadership using Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and Get Healthy, Get Smart! (GHGS) initiative.

leadership. Michelle Roy, social studies teacher, said, “I saw my kids, some of whom were moderately interested in my class, at best, sort of “turn on.” They are now participating in the discussion; they want to share, they want to be there. They are a lot more excited to participate because it’s much more “real” to them and immediately relevant to their lives.”

Online Auction

DONATE TO URBAN TECH!

Transform Lives Through the Power of Technology Urban Tech, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education technology corporation, was founded in 1995 to provide access to technology and training to address the widening achievement gap in low-income communities. Today, we are transforming lives through the power of technology. Our primary focus is to provide at-risk youth with social and emotional skills for improved health and academic performance, and provide adults with the resources necessary for longterm employability and economic security. Please consider adding us to your list of tax-deductible contributions to support our programs in 2012. q I would like to support Urban Tech’s work. Enclosed is a check for _________. I am interested in programs for: q Academic Performance q Healthy Habits

q Leadership Development q Financial Literacy

Please complete the following information and send with your tax-deductible contribution to: The National Urban Technology Center, 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 606, New York, New York 10038 or visit www.urbantech.org/contribute to make an online contribution. Thank you for your support!

Name ______________________________________________________________ Street ______________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State ______ Zip ___________________ Phone ________________________ Email _______________________________

4

Urban Tech News | February 2012

St. Barts vacation

Help Urban Tech continue its support for Adopt-aSchool partners, and assist Urban Tech in meeting its additional challenges and critical needs. Browse and bid on exciting travel getaways and other fine items! Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. Proceeds from the online auction help to support Urban Tech’s mission, including added program support for its Adopt-aSchool partners. Go to www.urbantech.org for more information.

From the beginning, this middle school embraced the YLA curriculum and training to provide critical social and emotional skills and in a short period of time, teachers began to see noticeable changes among their students, and even fellow staff members. Nicole Lentino, mathematics teacher, said of YLA: “It has brought me closer to my students. Growing up, I missed the boat on some of these life lessons. YLA actually helped me learn some things along the way about myself.” In June 2011, students led a parent workshop in both English and Spanish supporting both teachers and parents in resolving conflict and communicating their feelings openly and honestly. By enabling students to play an active role in the learning experience as trainers, schools can activate creativity, critical thinking skills for real-world success and student

“Urban Tech’s support for this program has been outstanding,” said Lab School Assistant Principal Tyneka Harrington. “They are right there to help our teachers through any questions; they are there to help our students; they are supporting parent interaction. This should be a model for how to have a partnership with a school.” Principal Ramón González was also quick to notice a change not only among his students but also among his staff. “There are not many programs that you can say have transformed people.” As a school selected for the Adopt-a-School program, Urban Tech and its donors share the same goals with teachers and administrators at MS 233: reaching and teaching middle school students, providing passionate advocates for lifelong learning, and critical skills to compete in the 21st century.

Urban Tech could not continue to provide access to these bestin-class educational resources without the generous support of its donors. Since 2006, Adopt-a-School donations have supported over

50 schools and after school programs in low-income and vulnerable communities across the country. To learn more about Adopt-a-School, please call us at 212-528-7350 or email us at info@urbantech.org.

Urban Tech Helps Students Strengthen Skills for College and Careers Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) focuses on developing skills that include recognizing and managing emotions, developing empathy for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically. They are the skills that allow youth to calm themselves when angry, create friendships, resolve conflicts, and make ethical and safe choices. Many of the programs that embrace social and emotional learning (SEL) have been rigorously evaluated and found to have positive impact, not only on lowering the risk of various problems youth face, but also in improving academic learning. A recently published landmark review found that students who receive SEL instruction had more positive attitudes about school and improve an average of 11 percentile points on standardized achievement tests compared to students who did not receive such instruction (http://casel.org/ why-it-matters/benefits-ofsel/meta-analysis/). YLA is a shining example of a research-based, engaging,

pro-social youth development program that can be accessed via the Internet to provide the critical SEL skills for addressing the achievement gap and getting kids ready for college and careers. A technology-rich program, YLA uses multiple modes of learning (instructorled and self-paced), a carefully designed mix of group activities to inspire teamwork, contemporary music and games, relevant exercises that provide real-life experiences, and access to a well-selected online resource library for broader frame of reference to improve life and literacy skills. To build in-demand skills for careers, YLA uses deductive, inductive and exploratory learning styles that are important for the advancement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With help from its school partners and donors, Urban Tech provides in-depth teacher training, parent workshops and can get computers to low-income families for access after school as well as in the classroom. For more information on YLA and the case studies which prove the effectiveness of SEL, please visit: http:// www.urbantech.org.

Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Urban Tech Would Like to Thank the Following Individuals, Foundations, and Corporations for Their Support in 2011: FOUNDER’S CIRCLE Pat & Tom Bransford BTIG Val Carlotti Goldman Sachs National Black United Fund/Robert “Bob” Williams CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Intel Corporation Latham & Watkins LLP/ Sharon Bowen The Nielsen Company/ Don Lowery David Perlin Pfizer, Inc Turn2 Foundation The Williams Capital Group/Christopher J. Williams BENEFACTORS Bloomberg EmblemHealth Executive Leadership Council Marco Frigeri Alia Jones Harvey JPMorgan Chase Foundation Bettina Klinger Lazard/Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. MikeDP Ventures/ Michael DePaola Rubenstein Public Relations, Inc./ Richard Rubenstein The Starker Family Foundation/Farrel & Steven Starker John Starks Dr. Elgin & Gena Davis Watkins Wells Fargo Foundation Eric Woods/Harlem Vintage & Nectar Wine Bar Kathy & Jeff Zukerman

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PATRONS James Aniello Mr. & Mrs. G. Leonard Baker Vanessa Baylor Johnson Valerie Lancaster Beal Richard Bilello Michelle Bouchard Michael Bower Carole F. Browne Stephen Byrd J.T. (Ted) Childs, Jr. Amanda & Don Clarke Bobbie (Mrs. J. Player) Crosby Jennifer De Rosa Sandy Enuha Alicia G. Everett Hilary & Joseph Feshbach Pamela M. Frederick Godfrey R. Gill Peter Gorman Dawn Hankin-Cliette & Eric A. Cliette Carla Harris Christopher Hein Phyllis Hollis Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Holowesko Jessica & Alan Isaacs Marsh Inc/Jessica Isaacs Lorrie King Tracey E. LaFrano Loida Nicolas Lewis Mr. & Mrs. James Lippman Jodi Malcom Hon. H. Carl & Dr. Joyce Brown McCall Mrs. Hassell McClure Mark Miles The Morrison & Foerster Foundation Paula J. Nailor Jean Marie Poster Marilyn and Hugh B. Price Rori & Steven Shaffer Marcia Siper Lisa M. Squibb Lena Surilov Cara Wallace

Urban Tech News | February 2012

Ty Williams Margaret (Dolly) Williams FRIENDS Alvin Bowles Kimberly Duckett Coaxum Raluca Gold Curtis Harris Jennifer Temps/ Jennifer Singleton Barney Karpfinger/ Red House Fund Eve McGrath Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Nickelberry Hon. Barrington Parker Gerald L. Shargel/ Law offices of Gerald L. Shargel Mr. & Mrs. Brian Sklar Virginia TreherneThomas Amy & Justin Zises SUPPORTERS Susan Branche Brett Carlson Alanna Duffy Monica Duke Hazel Dukes Thelma Dye-Holmes Ione D. Edwards Jill B. Fastenberg Toni G. Fay Peter E. Feinberg Joseph Godwin Shannon J. Hales Joyce K. Haupt Louis Hochman John G. Hopkins Derek Josephs Daniel Kanamori Kyle Kuchera

Jason Kudelka Jessica LaMotta Lisa Kelly Maik Cynthia L. & Walter Morris Valentina Pelinel E. Denise Perry Marquita Pool-Eckert Vikki Pryor Arden Shelton J. Cecil Simpson, Jr. Claire Steinglass Kimberly Stolz Carol & Raymond S. Stolz Paul Wasserman/ AM Property Shelly Wimpfheimer Doris Withers Janet Wright CONTRIBUTORS Diane Ashley Mark Baratta Allison Chrisman Karen Deinzer Michael Dillon Roxanne Febles Francine Fogarty Juliet Nicole Gilliam David J. Goldstein Johanne Holmes Greer Fredrika & Dulany Hill John W. Icke Sarah E. Inkster Fern Khan Linda & Joseph Lillard Charlotte McKines Rhoda Myers Ellena & John O’Toole Michael Richard David K. Storr Randolph Sturrup George L. Van Amson Steven W. Wolfe

Visit our website for the latest news and information

www.urbantech.org

Upcoming 2012 Gala at Capitale

Blair Underwood

Reatha Clark King

We are excited to announce this year’s Gala on June 11 at the historic Capitale. Attracting approximately 300 philanthropists every year from New York City and the surrounding areas, the Gala is establishing itself as one of the City’s premiere fundraisers, honoring those who are invested in improving the education, health, and career readiness of disadvantaged youth in underserved communities. This year’s Gala will proudly honor actor and philanthropist Blair Underwood, renowned philanthropist and corporate and community leader Dr. Reatha Clark King and award-winning journalist and CBS2 News Anchor Maurice DuBois. With the help of our generous sponsors and donors, we hope to reach our goal of $500,000 to sustain and grow Urban Tech’s programs that provide crucial life skills support to students and one-on-one mentoring of teachers in communities that have suffered the most in this economy. Save the date and tell your friends—attend the Gala in support of Urban Tech’s flagship program, the Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) designed to prepare students to graduate from high school and achieve success in college and career.

Save the Date!

Monday, June 11, 2012 Capitale | New York City

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Maurice DuBois

Purchase a 2012 Urban Tech Gala table/ ticket by Thursday, April 19 and receive reserved seating to the Thursday, April 26 Broadway Opening Week Premiere of “A Streetcar Named Desire” starring 2012 Urban Tech Gala Honoree Blair Underwood at The Broadhurst Theater. This offer includes the play and VIP access to the post performance reception with the Broadway cast and producers depending on the level of 2012 Urban Tech Gala contribution. Tickets are limited so order today! For more information on this very special offer and to purchase 2012 Urban Tech Gala tickets, please visit our website, www.urbantech.org or give us a call at (212) 528-7350. Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Derek Jeter Turn2 Foundation Recognizes the Importance of YLA for After School Programs In 2010-2011, Derek Jeter’s Turn2 Foundation granted Urban Tech funding to implement a Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) life skills program to reduce negative behaviors and health-compromising activities among youth, ages 6-13, enrolled in Turn2 Afterschool Programs in New York City, by proving positive life-changing experiences during after school hours. Studies show that children who do not receive reinforced learning and enrichment activities during summer and after school hours are less likely to retain academic skills as com-

pared to their peers who are afforded such opportunities. A total of fifty-eight (58) children participated in a thirty-five (35) week YLA after school program at Sorrentino and Jackie Robinson Recreation Centers. Urban Tech’s implementation of the Youth Leadership Academy® has proven to be extremely effective among this student population. The actual results gathered from the 2010-2011 year’s evaluation show significant progress in several areas. Table 1 provides a sample of the results. YLA’s research-based curriculum is organized around 11 modules or “themes” including goal-setting, s e l f - d i s c ove r y, teamwork and conflict resolution targeted to increase academic proficiency, student leadership, healthy habits, and financial lit-

eracy. The curriculum is delivered through animation, interactive exercises, online journaling and internet-based research creating a stimulating learning environment and promoting an image that “it’s cool to be smart.” “I have seen positive changes in my students as we have gone through YLA…the children not

only learned something new about themselves but about each other,” said Danielle Goldfarb, Sorrentino Recreation Center CRC.“It is truly a positive program that has positive after-effects.” Ms. Goldfarb’s sentiments were echoed by all instructors as displayed in the following chart:

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EITC. To help the recipients keep the money in the community and to be good stewards of their wealth, adult community members were able to take part in Hands on Banking® (HOB) and first-time home buyer workshops. Ten youth were trained as YLA youth leaders and certified to train other youth, and 50 middle/high school students participated in YLA and received financial literacy training. The Bridgeport, CT It’s Your Net Worth! Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Financial Literacy Program saw its VITA services prepare tax returns for 150 people, generat-

Urban Tech News | February 2012

Urban Tech’s flagship programs have had significant impact over the last 17 years in providing equal access to technology and unlocking the door in vulnerable communities to critical resources for competitive skills and economic gain. Students who participate in Urban Tech’s programs become motivated and inspired to improve their ability to learn, improve their retention rates, and get top grades in their classes. They are interested in accelerating the process and positioning themselves to achieve their American dreams; and Urban Tech has been in the forefront of education technology for the last several years providing the resources to help students achieve these goals. Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) was established in 1995 to demonstrate potential implications of innovative uses of technology to teach youth with differing levels of

educational attainment. It was also designed to reach student populations who perform poorly in traditional classroom environments allowing them to master core curriculum at their own pace and literacy levels. YLA engages students through technology-rich curriculum including hundreds of interactive games and activities using contemporary music, colorful graphics and animation that broaden their critical thinking, enhance their writing skills and promote the belief that “it’s cool to be smart.” YLA is especially important because of the current lack of rich interactive curriculum dealing specifically with life/ leadership and academic skills in under-served communities. Young people today face tremendous obstacles to success; and without the tools to address these challenges, our kids don’t have a fighting chance. Our plan envisions growing virally with exponential growth

Profile in Leadership

Wells Fargo and Urban Tech Build Community Wealth and Financial Literacy The results are in from the 2011 Urban Tech and Wells Fargosponsored VITA/Financial Literacy Program partnerships in Bridgeport, CT, and Newburgh, NY. The Financial Literacy/VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance)/ Community Development Program in Newburgh, NY saw the installation of a fully-operational SeedTech Computer Training Center (CTC) lab to support its Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA) and Digital literacy training efforts for youth. Newburgh processed over 100 federal tax returns, generating over $100,000 in tax refunds and $66,000 in

New Directions for YLA

ing almost $70,000 in EITC refunds for the community. As with Newburgh, Bridgeport provided HOB workshops for over 95 families and individuals, and 35 students received financial literacy training through the YMCA after-school program. The training also focused on computer instruction, communication skills, decision-making skills, violence prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, and job readiness skills. Success requires cultivation. “We know that these services to help individuals are vital to helping maintain and expand a community’s financial capacity,” said Gena Davis Watkins,

Urban Tech’s Executive Director. “Our partnership with Wells Fargo has been outstand-

ing, and our local partners in Bridgeport and Newburgh have been so helpful. We look forward to another vibrant collaboration among our partners to expand the programs in both locations over the coming year.”

York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. Urban Tech honored Ramón for his exemplary educational leadership and services to his community and school. Ramón’s community activism has deeply influenced his school community. Students take courses in financial literacy and participate in a schoolwide economy where they can earn, save, and spend “school bucks.” Ramón was named a 2007-2008 Cahn Fellow for Distinguished Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was admitted in 2009 to the Teachers College Urban Education Leadership

from p. 1

Doctoral Program. In 2010, he was named a Principal’s fellow for the Center for Arts Education. In 2011, he won the Sloan Public Service Award for New York Government and was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. He currently serves as a mentor for aspiring school leader interns from City University, Barauch College, Mercy College and Teachers College. He holds a BA from Cornell University, an MS from City College, and an MA and Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a published author who has written about adolescent issues and urban gangs.

in the next five years, reaching millions of users by 2017. This means scaling up YLA for easy replication, building and designing intuitive interfaces and imbedding virtual training for quick adoption. We also need to reach kids where they are spending their time, getting information, communicating with friends and accessing media. Almost one in three children between the ages of 8 and 10 own their own cell phone, and the 13–17 age bracket is the fastest growing segment on smartphone adoption. The rise in popularity of smartphones has brought on a cultural shift in how children access and interact with information. On average, children between the ages of 8 and 18 who own their own smartphone use it daily for 33 minutes of talk and 49 minutes of media consumption. It has become the preferred method for consuming media and also extends to learning, with 62% of students reporting that they would rather use a smartphone than a laptop as a learning tool. To remain in the forefront of education technology and to scale up for growth, Urban Tech has begun to work with Dr. Nishikant Sonwalker, (Sc.D., MIT) to transform YLA’s rich content into mobile applications that can be delivered to iPads in the classroom and reach students on their smartphones. Urban Tech is adding greater customization to its current content using Sonwalter’s “Adaptive Learning Technologies” to address the multiple learning preferences, paces and performance goals of a broad spectrum of learners in inner-city communities; and include on-line personal tutoring (e.g. Khan Academy, etc.), social media and blogs to engage students and transform the one-size fits all classroom to

individualization and a 24/7, always accessible learning environment. With funding, Urban Tech will begin this exciting development of mobile applications and continue to leverage technology for adaptability across a broad range of learning styles. Urban Tech believes that America is finally at the nexus of successfully extending the walls of today’s classroom to connect formal and informal learning modalities that address the needs of diverse learners. With this new partnership and development, Urban Tech will continue to provide tools to the nation’s under-resourced communities for life skills, academic achievement and workforce development using Dr. Sonnwalker’s revolutionary technology that provides a highly effective, efficient, and engaging pathway to improving delivery of education to millions of students. Over time, the body of data from this network will be fed back into the system for tracking, evaluation, upgrade and refinement, and its ultimate goal, adaptive “collaborative filtering”—wherein the accumulated, anonymous data from tens of thousands of users begins to predict accurately the needs of any single user from the first click of a mouse, and then directs the single user’s learning accordingly, adjusting all along the way. As one public school teacher told the YLA design team, “My job is to continuously assess where every student is in relation to the 29 other kids in the class and then give them exactly what they need. But as a practical matter it’s just impossible to do the job I want to do. I need more me’s.” That customization and just-in-time assessment is something “smart software” can be very good at.

Urban Tech News | February 2012

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Newsletter 2012  

Urban Tech 2012 Newsletter.

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