Franklin City Schools recognized for successful STEM+ program

— The $1 Million Grant will Prepare Students Better for College and Workforce

Virginia, June 2015

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Franklin City Superintendent Dr. Willie Bell (Left) and School Board Members

The National Education Foundation recognized Franklin City Public Schools for their successful work in implementing a STEM+ Academy, a program that provides a Total System Solution promoting academic success.

NEF launched the STEM+ academy in January for 300 students. Participating students demonstrated academic progress in core subjects such as math and reading. NEF’s Total System Solution program and receive personalized learning and motivational rewards such as iPods and gift certificates, along with certificates from the State University of New York (SUNY), NEF’s academy partner.

Speaking about the grant opportunity, Superintendent Willie Bell, Jr. states that “As Franklin City Public Schools increases technology opportunities; this initiative will broaden our basis.  We look to have students engaged in online interactive learning while they attain skills that will be advantageous to them beyond K-12 education.”

NEF CyberLearning STEM+ Academy’s (www.cyberlearning.org) vision is to help Franklin students meet and exceed Virginia’s state standards, and to prepare them better for college and the 21st century workforce.

Franklin’s Academy Director Kelley Conaway states that “Implementing the NEF CyberLearning STEM+ Academy brings many benefits to Franklin City Public Schools and the Franklin Community. Improving our schools will improve our community. I am excited about working with the National Education Foundation for the betterment of our school division.”

NEF, the national nonprofit leader in providing world-class STEM education solutions, hopes to expand its STEM+ initiative significantly in Virginia and other states in the coming years.

Through its national $100 million matching grant initiative, NEF provides 50% matching grant, and actively assists the applicants to gain the other 50% from Federal sources, such as QZAB (see www.qzab.org ). For example, NEF helped Franklin City Public Schools receive $1.8 million in QZAB funds.

NEF-supported STEM+ academies, students advanced a grade level in a subject like math in 27 learning hours, at a fraction of typical Title I cost, during the 2013-14 school year, according to SUNY’s evaluation. Based on the success of the 2013-14 results, NEF plans to guarantee student performance in the chosen school districts.

NEF also recognizes the importance of involving the community, thus the NEF grant also provides training for teachers and parents in personal and professional development.

NEF Chairman, Dr. Appu Kuttan states, “The U.S. is falling behind globally in STEM education. We have 4 million jobs looking for STEM-skilled workers. To solve our serious STEM worker shortage problem and help the U.S. maintain its global economic and technology leadership, we need to set up world-class STEM programs in our schools. Our initiative aims to do exactly that!”

For additional information about NEF’s grants and programs please contact NEF at 703-823-9999 or tstephens@nefuniversity.org.

About NEF
The National Education Foundation (NEF) is the national non-profit leader in bridging the academic and job skills divides by providing world-class education solutions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), English, test prep, digital literacy, IT, business and management and soft skills to millions of disadvantaged students and adults. See www.cyberlearning.org.