Nellie Mae Education Foundation Awards $1.4 Million for Student-Centered Learning

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.4 million to seven organizations and school districts in New England for efforts to put students at the center of learning.

Each grantee will receive a one-year, $200,000 planning award — the first awards made through the foundation's District Level Systems Change initiative, which is designed to promote the integration of student-centered reforms in three areas: education practice, policy, and public understanding and demand. By using a three-part strategy, the foundation believes that school districts will be better able to achieve and sustain the type of change necessary to improve education in the six-state region.

The recipients will use their grants to collaboratively design strategies for implementing student-centered education systems that meet the needs of all learners. Organizations and districts selected to participate include the Burlington and Winooski school districts in Vermont; the Central Falls School District in Rhode Island; Jobs for Maine's Graduates in Portland; Maine School Administrative District #60 in North Berwick; the Pittsfield School District in New Hampshire; Randolph Public Schools in Massachusetts; and the Sanford School Department in Maine.

"These grants represent a significant step for education reform and, ultimately, the well-being of our region," said NMEF vice president of programs Mary Sylvia Harrison. "We believe that integrated student-centered learning at the district level will prepare more young people with the tools they need to succeed."