Portland, Maine (PRWEB) June 27, 2014
Spurwink is pleased to announce it has met the 10% private sector match requirement ($1.2 million) to become an official grantee of the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program.
In November 2013, the state’s leading education and behavioral health organization was awarded a five-year, $12 million validation grant to support the development of a national model for high school reform that would increase student achievement.
Since then, a number of national and Minnesota-based foundations have contributed to the effort, as well as the Maine-based John T. Gorman Foundation, the Harold Alfond Foundation, Cate Street Capital, and AT&T. These contributions enabled Spurwink to now qualify for the grant funds.
“This $12 million grant will allow Spurwink to expand the Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) program, which is designed to increase academic growth and achievement for 9th grade students during a critical transition year by improving the effectiveness of teachers,” said Eric Meyer, LCSW, president and CEO of Spurwink. “By expanding highly effective teachers’ reach to serve more students and maximizing opportunities for these teachers to elevate the practices of their peers, more students achieve and at higher levels.”
In this first year of the program, Spurwink is working with two schools in Southern California and Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine. Spurwink is in the process of identifying nine rural schools for participation in the study, and 45 rural schools willing to receive a $15,000 mini-grant for training and technical assistance that will enable them to adopt this evidence-based model for increasing student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
“This award is great news for Maine,” said Senator Angus King, who wrote letters of support for Spurwink’s Department of Education Investing in Innovation grant application. “The positive impacts of the BARR program are significant and are already being felt throughout Maine. With this additional funding, more students and teachers in Maine will benefit from the BARR program's innovative approach to education and student achievement.”
On June 3, the success of the BARR program in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, led to the high school being selected as the recipient of the national College and Career Transition Award from ACT, the nonprofit organization responsible for the ACT test, a college admissions and placement exam taken by more than 1.6 million high school graduates every year.
Spurwink is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization that provides a broad range of education and behavioral health services for children, adolescents, adults, and families. Spurwink offers specialized programs throughout Maine and New Hampshire that are grounded in research, outcomes, and evidence-based best practices. For more information, visit spurwink.org, or call us at 207-871-1200.
The BARR program was developed 15 years ago by Angela Jerabek, a counselor at St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota, who will direct the program with Susan Savell, Director of Spurwink’s Center for Positive Youth Development.
BARR has been independently evaluated through a randomized controlled trial and has shown that students benefiting from the BARR intervention earned a greater number of credits in core classes, demonstrated more growth in Reading and Mathematics test scores and had higher cumulative grade point averages compared to a control group.
For more information, visit hazelden.org/buildingassets or call Toni Brezina, Hazelden, Development, at 651-213-4826.