AppleTree Institute For Education Innovation & AppleTree Schools Recognize Everyday Heroes for Black History Month

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AppleTree Audience Interviews Marquita Davis, Deputy Director of Early Learning, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and "I AM FROM" Poem Collection with AppleTree Black History Month Honorees

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Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. Maya Angelou

AppleTree Institute For Education Innovation and AppleTree Schools honor 37 people for their contributions to communities, families, and children. AppleTree Audience is a newsletter that started in 2019 and recognized the contributions and impact of stakeholders who increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education. This year, the newsletter highlighted individuals who wrote poems about their ancestry and family, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, PNC Bank, Richard K. Bynum; Vice President Nickelodeon Digital Consumer Insights Nickelodeon, Makeda Mays-Green, and many more. The publication can be viewed at this link: “The interview and poem collection is a seamless tapestry of the beauty of Black people and their contributions to the world,” said Natasha Parrilla, director of communications and early learning initiatives, AppleTree. “We are all Black History as we contribute our lives in the service of others.”

The 2019-2021 newsletters are interviews of diverse people who share their career accomplishments and advise others to help them through their leadership path. AppleTree Audience features this year’s interview with Deputy Director of Early Learning, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Marquita Davis. Past participants have been CEO of New Teacher Center, Desmond K. Blackburn; Former District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education, Hanseul Kang; Chair of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, Rick Cruz; Executive Director, The Equity Lab, Michelle Molitor; and CEO of Education Post, Chris Stewart. You can view these interviews at the following link: and subscribe to the publication at this link:

AppleTree was founded in 1996 to increase the supply of effective schools through innovation. AppleTree furthered its quest for innovation by winning a prestigious Investing in Innovation grant in 2010 to research, develop, pilot, roll out and evaluate Every Child Ready (ECR), a comprehensive preschool instructional model for three and four-year-olds. Currently, AppleTree schools serve 1,300 three- and four-year-old children and their families throughout Washington, DC. Learn more at and

Natasha Parrilla, Director of Communications & Early Learning Initiatives
202-488-3990 (office)

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Natasha Parrilla
since: 11/2009
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