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Release Date: 09.26.2011 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Awards $110,000 to Teach For America

Grant Will Support Evaluation of Teach For America's Early Childhood Education Initiative

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has awarded $110,000 to support a rigorous evaluation of Teach For America’s Early Childhood Education Initiative.

Over the next four years, Mathematica Policy Research will evaluate corps members’ effectiveness in the classroom. The work is part of Teach For America’s new Investing in Innovation (i3) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

By matching a $110,000 challenge grant from Bezos Family Foundation, the Blank Family Foundation award will help expand the evaluation to cover Teach For America’s Early Childhood Initiative, which sends corps members into low-income communities as preschool teachers. Targeting 3-to-5-year-old children, the initiative aims to close the achievement gap by the time children enter first grade.

"We are thrilled to see Teach For America deploy its innovative model for the benefit of the nation’s youngest students," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which since 1999 has awarded $800,000 in grants to Teach for America. "Increased investment in high-quality early education is essential to the nation’s future."

Teach For America established its early education initiative in 2006 to assist preschool children most likely to start school at a disadvantage. Mathematica will examine the impact of the Teach For America model in Pre-K through second-grade classrooms while recommending improvements in corps members’ training.

The evaluation will provide critical data as Teach For America works to ensure students are on the pathway to academic success from their earliest experiences in the classroom. Research has shown that the educational achievement gap starts as early as pre-K and widens over time.

"The disparity in educational achievement between students growing up in low-income communities and their more affluent peers already exists by the time they reach Kindergarten," said Laura McSorley, managing director of Teach For America’s early education initiative. "The Blank Foundation’s support will further our work to ensure every child starts school ready to succeed."



About Teach For America:
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Today more than 9,000 corps members are teaching in 43 regions across the country while nearly 24,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, greenspace, and the arts and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. For more information, visit www.BlankFoundation.org.

Contact Info

Contact Name: John Bare

Company: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Phone: 404.367.2062

E-mail: jbare@ambfo.com