As America marks Constitution Day, research shows most Americans don’t know how many amendments the Constitution includes, one of the questions on the U.S. citizenship test. The National Assessment of Educational Progress also reports that the average U.S. history score for eighth grade students was four points lower in 2018 compared to 2014. One in five students say they have no interest in studying the Cold War. Advocates believe there’s an urgent need to transform the way American history is taught and learned.
The new nonprofit’s initial effort involves creating and distributing a comprehensive American history video series that focuses on what is interesting to high school students. DFI says that video content, accessed by students both in the classroom and out of school, is the most effective underutilized tool available.
DFI’s UNTOLD series on YouTube is the home for new short form videos that will post each week during the 2020–21 school year. All the videos are free. In addition, DFI is making related materials to support learning, whether in a traditional classroom, virtual or hybrid setting, available to educators.
For example, “How the Census Changed America” features eye-catching graphics and an engaging narrator to explain the failure of the first U.S. Census, why that upset Thomas Jefferson and how that led to innovative thinking that helped create an American business that exists today.
Patrick Riccards, founder and chief executive officer of DFI, says, “To make a real difference in the learning of history, we must approach the problem from several angles, exploring different concerns to inject real solutions. As tens of millions of students across the country are forced to shift to virtual learning — and as their teachers look for new engaging learning materials to hold their students’ interests — now is the time to change the teaching and learning of American history.”
DFI is using an integrated set of efforts designed to get at the three legs of the history instruction stool:
Support instruction for current K–12 American history teachers, designed to both improve their own understanding of American history and empower them to better connect with their students and make history an exciting and worthwhile pursuit of study. As an incentive, teachers who successfully participate in DFI will receive micro-credentials and badges that signify they are part of a national network committed to improving American history instruction.
Curriculum design for both traditional classrooms and out-of-school-time environments,
changing the very way American history is taught in communities across the nation; and
Direct-to-consumer engagement, providing interesting and dynamic learning opportunities to students (and by extension, their families) through a digital platform.
To meet these needs, DFI will soon launch a pilot project that will recruit small teams of educators in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. This project will help shape the development of the website content, ensuring the most effective utilization possible.
Ultimately, DFI will seek to develop an online professional development platform, a series of “historians’ toolkits,” models for a “flipped” American history curriculum, and an archive of games and simulations for educators to use with students.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) announced the communities that are Pacesetters for their work during 2019 to support early school success. A collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship, CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.
“We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities,” says Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — support our big bet on the problem-solving potential of proximity.”
The process began in January when CGLR invited communities to file stories on its Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP), using 16 categories that served as “tags” for each story when it was published on CLIP.
CGLR then asked the 112 communities that responded to self-nominate for Pacesetter Honors for one or more of their stories submitted for the What’s Working Community Challenge.
CGLR received self-nominations of 214 stories from 50 communities representing 23 states and one Canadian province. The nominated stories were considered, sorted and ranked by panels of community-based peer reviewers. By the end of the process, there were 2,000 story reviews filed by close to 400 peer reviewers.
“The commitment to peer review is a unique and important aspect of the Pacesetter Recognition process,” says Smith. “They bring a combination of local knowledge and real-world experience that adds heft and credibility to the Pacesetter Recognition process.”
CGLR recognizes the following 21 communities as recipients of 2019 Pacesetter Honors for “Mobilizing for Success” and “Deploying Innovative Strategies and Tools.” Click on the name of the community to be taken to that community’s profile page on CLIP, where its stories are available in the “Community Stories” section.
CGLR recognizes the following 29 communities as Pacesetter Finalists for “Moving the Needle in Impact Areas.” After a second round of reviews later this summer, the Campaign will announce Pacesetter Honors in these categories in September.
Launched in 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Since its launch, CGLR has grown to include more than 300 communities, representing 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two provinces in Canada — with 5,000+ local organizations and 510 state and local funders (including 200+ United Ways). To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.
We were proud to join Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and other supporters of the right to free speech and peaceful protest as we all proclaimed Black Lives Matter and celebrated the dramatic street art in front of the White House. We’re following the best advice of our friends and allies by using this as a time to listen and better understand. There will be future opportunities to share additional feedback.
An update from the Catalogue: On #GivingTuesdayNow, we raised over $575,000 for small to mid-sized nonprofits serving the DC region. Thank you to everybody who donated at givelocaltogether.org and supported our nonprofit community!
Catalogue for Philanthropy Announces Local Day of Giving in Response to COVID-19
Catalogue to Host Campaign for Small to Mid-Sized Nonprofits in the Greater Washington Region
Washington, D.C., (April 6, 2020) – The Catalogue for Philanthropy is announcing a community fundraising campaign supporting local nonprofits as part of #GivingTuesdayNow, an international day of generosity in response to COVID-19. As the official GivingTuesday community partner for the Greater Washington region, the Catalogue will host its campaign, Give Local Together, in partnership with GivingTuesday and will make it available to its partner nonprofits, as well as other small-to-mid-sized organizations in the DC metro area.
We recognize these are challenging and uncertain times for all of us. However, in times of crisis, we are called to respond with generosity rather than fear. During our individual isolation, community becomes more, not less, important. And we need you to support this community-to make a difference, close to home.
Local nonprofits continue to work each day, even in the midst of this crisis, to support our local communities, from providing basic services to our most vulnerable neighbors, to providing healthcare to those in need, to creating inspiring art that we are proud to have in our region. And the most urgent need many of them face right now is the need for funds and resources to ensure their critical programs continue both during this crisis and thereafter. To respond to this urgent need, we are proud to announce our participation in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
We are proud to stand with the GivingTuesday movement and partner with them once again through our local campaign, Give Local Together, to demonstrate the ability of generosity to heal and empower our local communities.
“It’s the Catalogue’s mission to shine a light on and support those organizations that are doing the hard work to help the vulnerable among us. With the spread of COVID-19, the nonprofit community is confronted with an unprecedented challenge, one that threatens not only the critical services they provide, but also the organizations themselves,” says Aaron Gonzales, co Executive Director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy.
Later this week, you’ll be able to read about and support participating local nonprofits at givelocaltogethe r.org. Each of these organizations need your help so we encourage you to find a cause that speaks to you. During a challenging time for us all, every gift matters.
If you are a local nonprofit interested in being involved in the campaign, you can apply here. Any local 501(c)3 nonprofit with an annual budget under $4 million can participate if they typically provide direct community services in the DMV region. All applying organizations outside of the Catalogue network will go through light programmatic and financial vetting before inclusion in the campaign.
On behalf of the entire Catalogue staff and board, we wish you, your colleagues, family, and friends all the best and hope you and they remain healthy and safe.
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About the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington
The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington is the region’s only locally-focused guide to giving and volunteering. We believe in the power of small nonprofits to spark big change. Our goal is to create visibility for our charities, fuel their growth with philanthropic dollars, and create a movement for social good in our region. Since 2003, the Catalogue has raised more than $43 million for our network of vetted charities. We highlight the best local nonprofits, and their work, to show what is possible when caring citizens connect with worthy causes, acting together on behalf of the greater good. Our vision is a stronger, more resilient community, here, where we live.