Jessica Griffin Volunteers Event Planning Skills for Wade Edwards Learning Lab

Jessica Griffin, otherwise known as “The Social Planner”, is volunteering her skills to help Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) create a plan for their 20th anniversary campaign and fundraising event. Boosting Education with the Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) The mission of Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) is to provide the student community with opportunities for achievement, enrichment and service, in preparation for personal and academic success. Approaching its 20th anniversary, WELL hopes to engage the community in a year-long effort to celebrate their work and recognize past supporters. With hopes for a spring event and campaign to rally support for expanding its services in 2016, WELL needed a passionate event planning pro to make the vision a reality. Local young professional, Jessica Griffin, was eager to be of service. According to WELL’s Foundation coordinator, Elizabeth Ruf: Working with Jessica has been great. She has an incredible vision and the technical skills to help us piece together a successful event strategy. Jessica is so kind and enthusiastic about helping us achieve our goals. I’m truly excited to see what she comes up with and for the ability to take a vision, run with it, and then seeing the end results. Jessica Griffin, Triangle Nonprofit Champion Jessica is long time resident of the Triangle and with eight years of experience working in nonprofit development and event planning with organizations like Planned Parenthood and the NC Bar Organization. Jessica believes that everyone should contribute their time and talent to give back to the community and is excited about the opportunity to help WELL advance their mission through Activate Good’s Pro Heroes program: Working with the staff at...

Improving Learning Outcomes: The Helps Education Fund

The Helps Education Fund uses an apple in their logo because it is an international symbol of teaching, often representing growth and the need for nurturing, as well as the wisdom passed from teachers to students. The apple also signifies variety and change. Instead of the traditional red apple associated with teaching and the excellent work of teachers, the Helps Education Fund uses a green apple to symbolize that educators and students still need support in a variety of ways. According to national statistics, 33% of children in elementary school cannot read at even a basic level and 66% cannot read at a proficient level. When children do not develop basic academic skills, their academic, work, and life opportunities are significantly limited. The Helps Education Fund works to change these statistics by offering research-supported educational resources to teachers so that their students will have better learning outcomes. John Begeny, the nonprofit’s Executive Director, explained: There are too many students who fail to meet even basic learning goals, so the overall mission of the Helps Education Fund is to continue providing free and research-supported programs, services, and professional development to the thousands of hard-working educators who are dedicated to improving the lives of children and their communities. Programs Offered to Educators In the first two years they were in operation, they were able to provide their services to over 15,000 educators and parents. The organization’s Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Program aims to improve literacy among early readers by providing teachers with materials that improve students’ reading skills. The HELPS program is available for teachers to incorporate into their curriculums...

Service Learning to Service Doing: Activating Teen Do-Gooders

For those unfamiliar, Activate Good’s Activate Schools program is designed to empower the next generation of community leaders and volunteers through a Leadership and Service service-learning curriculum. We partner with area high schools to implement this curriculum and give students access to in-depth learning about community issues and how they can be a part of solving them. As part of the curriculum, students are asked to study community issues then develop an idea for a service project that would address one of the issues they are most passionate about. Students form groups to develop their service project ideas, then present them to community members, who act as judges, scoring each project idea. The top scoring project idea wins a cash award from Activate Good, which they use to carry out their project with the rest of their classmates. Finding Passion Through Service Learning Recently, I joined other community members in judging service project ideas from students in our Leadership and Service curriculum at the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy. My new role as the Activate Schools Program Coordinator has allowed me to spend a considerable amount of time immersed in Activate Good’s Leadership and Service curriculum. It has also caused me to imagine what it would have been like for me to go through this course as a high school student. It’s really when I listened to these students’ ideas for making a difference in our community that the elements of the Leadership and Service curriculum came to life. In every group’s presentation, I could identify an “ah ha” moment, the moment students in that group awakened to their...

Serving Up Spring pop-up brunch on March 30 will fuel service learning for 6 classrooms

When I was in high school, I had an itch I couldn’t quite scratch. Inside there was a fire burning, a voice urging me to go out and make a big difference, but I lacked a deeper understanding of the issues in my community. And, I lacked guidance on how to tackle those issues. Ever ask yourself what you’d change about your high school experience if you had the chance? If there had been a service learning elective at my school that would enable me to study important community issues in-depth, identify causes to engage with, and help me hone my personal leadership skills, I would have jumped at the chance to enroll. As it happened, I had neither the opportunity nor the awareness to start learning these things until after high school. I can only imagine how my life would be different if I’d had that chance, if I’d learned these vital things as a teenager; if I’d have gotten involved earlier and made progress on more issues that are important to me. Through Activate Good‘s Activate Schools program, I now have a chance to give other students — other teens with fires in their bellies — the opportunity and guidance to learn these things, to start putting their passion and energy into something they’ll be extremely proud of. A lot of the time, these are kids that wouldn’t be given the opportunity to lead or told they have any kind of power to make a difference. Showing kids they CAN lead and CAN make an impact is life-changing. It was for me. Throughout the Leadership & Service curriculum...
Activating Schools: WYWLA girls serve and lead

Activating Schools: WYWLA girls serve and lead

Activate Schools is the educational program created by Activate Good to connect community and leadership to the classroom.  Within the Activate Schools program the Community Leadership & Service course teaches high school students about current issues and presents them with opportunities to get involved at a local level.  The comprehensive curriculum was designed to engage youth through a project-based learning approach.  The lessons provide real-world scenarios and are linked to the common core learning standards for high school students.  The Activate Schools Community Leadership & Service course has been successfully implemented as an elective in local area high schools including Broughton, East Wake and the North Carolina School of Science and Math.  For the 2012 – 2013 academic year all freshmen at the new Wake Young Women’s and Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academies are currently enrolled in the course.  These academies are based on leadership models that encourage each student to make a positive impact in their community.  A natural partnership formed between Activate Schools and the Wake Leadership Academies based on mutual goals to empower youth and foster leadership development. The Activate Schools curriculum guides students to explore the root causes behind social issues and conduct assessments of community needs on both a global and local level.  Students learn to recognize their own leadership styles and to strengthen their critical thinking skills.  The course is designed in a way that enables the students to communicate with community partners, identify causes they connect with and propose a viable solution to current issues.  The Service Proposal project at the end of the course is a culmination of all topics covered...