NEF CyberLearning Awards STEM Grant to Lehighton Area School District
— The $4.2 Million Grant will Prepare Students Better for College and Workforce
Washington, D.C. June 2015
Lehighton Area School District is the recipient of NEF Cyberlearning’s first STEM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, English, Social Studies, SAT/ACT, IT, Business, Desktop) grant in Pennsylvania.
NEF will launch a STEM+ academy in January, 2015. About XXX Lehighton students will 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. Lehigh University has also partnered with NEF with this STEM initiative
NEF Cyberlearning STEM+ Academy’s (www.cyberlearning.org) vision is to help Lehighton students meet and exceed Pennsylvania state standards, and to prepare them better for college and the 21st century workforce. Charlie Bachert, Assistant Principal at Lehighton Middle School states that “Implementing the STEM Academy into our elementary and middle school has been a great thing for our district. Using SuccessMaker with our 3rd – 6th graders is starting to show an improvement in these students growth in reading and math. We are looking forward to adding K -2nd grades to the academy next school year.”
NEF hopes to expand its STEM+ initiative significantly in Pennsylvania 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 Lehighton ISD receive $XX million in QZAB funds.
Recognizing the importance of involving the community, the NEF grant also provides training for teachers and parents in personal and professional development. Mr. Bachert spoke of the impact of the professional development opportunity that “the Parent/Teacher Academy affords a great opportunity for parents and other community members as well as our teachers to take many different classes on many different topics at no cost to them. This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers and the community to expand their knowledge in many differ areas.”
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!”
NEF will provide grants on a first-come first-serve basis to school districts across the U.S. insuring that at least one school district is chosen from each state.
The State University of New York (SUNY) will assist the chosen grant recipients in implementing a STEM Academy Total System Solution program.
In the 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.
Former President Bill Clinton complimented NEF’s efforts by stating, “You are helping to empower tomorrow’s leaders. I salute you for your ongoing commitment for creating a better and stronger America.”
Interested school districts can contact NEF for more information and application at 703-823-9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.