The Hartford Journalism & Media Academy is one of six education programs in New England vying for a $100,000 grant to further their student-centered learning approach to education. Voting is now underway via the internet – and the deadline to cast a vote is September 30. The Lawrence W. O’Toole Award is given out each year to an individual, organization, school or district exhibiting great leadership through innovation or courage in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in New England. The winner will receive a $100,000 grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
The Students at the Center Hub – a relatively new website - was created through a partnership between the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Jobs for the Future. It is a resource for educators, families, students and communities interested in learning more about student-centered approaches to learning. Visitors to the site can “explore the research behind it; the practices that nurture it; policies that support it; and how to communicate about it.” Details on each of the nominated programs are included on the site.
The mission of the Hub is to help raise the visibility of student-centered learning in New England and beyond, offer a centralized location for tools and resources on student-centered learning approaches, and provide a user-friendly, interactive space for practitioners, implementers and supporters of student-centered approaches to learning.
At the Hartford Journalism and Media Academy (JMA), students are learning first-hand how storytelling and student voice can transform education. Students at JMA attend a satellite campus at Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) in Hartford, where they are working alongside seasoned journalists to produce content for the station while gaining 21st skills like creativity, collaboration and communication. As part of the station’s Education Reporting Initiative, students are investigating the impact of student-centered learning policies and practices in the public education system.
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is working to reshape public education across New England to be more equitable and more effective – so every student graduates from high school ready to succeed in college or the workplace – and contribute to their communities as informed citizens.
In addition to the Hartford Journalism & Media Academy, in the running for the grant are Portland Empowered (Maine), Burlington High School (Vermont), The Highlander Institute (Rhode Island), Sanborn Regional School District (New Hampshire) and Youth on Board (Boston).
Voting is open to one vote per email address. As of Monday morning, the Hartford Journalism & Media Academy was running fifth in the voting. A total of nearly 11,000 votes had been cast.