PPS The Notebook

Parents Learn How to Turn Kids Into Confident Readers

by Connie Langland “Last summer and again this winter, Ebony Wilkie attended parent workshops at Blaine Elementary to acquire some of the same skills that teachers use in the classroom. She learned the basics of how children learn to read – as well as some of the stumbling blocks. 'Some kids read, but they don’t understand what they’ve read. So we’ve worked on helping him comprehend what he’s reading,' Wilkie said. 'Jakai went from not reading to now reading on a 2nd-grade level. He’s made great progress,' his mother said.” Read article...

Startup Rewards Parents Who Teach Children to Read (and It's Wildly Successful)

By: Jared Shelly “Alejandro Gac-Artigas got a book published in eighth grade, graduated from Harvard University and now he’s running a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that counts movie director M. Night Shyamalan among its funders. Gac-Artigas sat down with to discuss his love of education, his unorthodox upbringing (dad was a political refugee from Chile; mom was a theater actress in Paris), and his desire to rid the nation of one of education's biggest problems.” Read article...

Innovating for Equity

By: Elisa Villanueva Beard, Co-CEO, Teach For America “Alejandro's innovation, Springboard Collaborative, works to repair the literacy skills students lose over vacation. His program provides summertime instruction to children from prek-3rd grade, and empowers families to teach reading at home. It works -- last year's 642 students made a six-month leap in reading during just five weeks of programming.” Read article...

Gac-Artigas named to Forbes 30 Under 30 List

By: Caroline Howard “Presenting our third annual 30 Under 30, a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30. These founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren't waiting for a proper bump up the career ladder. Their goals are way bigger -- and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial, and impatient digital world they grew up in. Meet the 450 prodigies reinventing the world right now.” Read article...
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Big reading gains and no learning loss for Springboard students

By: Connie Langland, December 04, 2013 “Last spring, Springboard Collaborative won a contract with the District by promising to replace learning loss over the summer with reading gains for some of its lowest-performing students. The effort apparently paid off.” Read article...

M. Night Shyamalan shares vision for Springboard

By: Sandy Smith, November 13, 2013 “Start watching the video at 34:30 to hear the movie director turned education activist speak about his investment in Alejandro and Springboard.” Read article...

Springboard Collaborative Avoided a Sophomore Slump

By: Jessie Fox, September 18, 2013 “ the midst of a major education crisis, Springboard Collaborative was able to stroke something rarely seen during the dog days of summer: parent involvement, passionate teachers and genuine student enthusiasm.” Read article...

Springboard Collaborative Welcomes the School Year

By: Jessie Fox, September 11, 2013 “As summer fades away and school buses, once again, journey through morning traffic, Alejandro Gac-Artigas, Springboard CEO and founder, welcomed the school year.”
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Philly Nonprofit Fills The Reading Achievement Gap For Needy Students

By: Cherri Gregg, August 9, 2013 “Even as Philadelphia public school closures and the looming financial crisis have made the past several months tough for the city’s schoolchildren, a small education startup is shining the light of optimism on some area students.” Read article...

By engaging parents, reading program succeeds in reversing learning loss

By: Connie Langland, July 23, 2013 “The idea is grand: Give parents the skills to be their children’s out-of-school reading teacher. That proposition is at the core of the novel summer reading program now reaching almost 700 children in grades K-3 at eight Philadelphia schools, according to Alejandro Gac-Artigas, 24, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Springboard Collaborative, which runs the program.” Read article...

Springboard takes a big leap

By: Michael Hinkelman, June 18, 2013 “When I introduced you to Alejandro Gac-Artigas in March, the former charter-school first-grade teacher hoped to take his innovative summer-reading program to a bigger stage. Now, he has done so. On May 15, the School Reform Commission approved a $112,800 agreement between Springboard and the district to provide a summer-reading program over the next year. A door that once was closed is open.” Read article...

Springboard Collaborative expands its innovative summer reading program

By: Dana Henry, June 11, 2013 “Unwilling to accept the slide as inevitable, Alejandro Gac-Artigas, a former Teach for America fellow, developed Springboard Collaborative, a low-cost summer program that keeps kids reading, even when they're not in the classroom. Now entering its third year, the program has secured a vendor agreement with the Philadelphia School District, expanding their reach from a couple hundred kids to over 900 students at eight schools.” Read article...

Fresh thinking for city schools

By: Larry Platt, May 26, 2013 “Against the backdrop of another multimillion-dollar funding shortfall and the specter of a "doomsday" budget, innovation has not been our ethos. But that may be changing. Far removed from the media spotlight, … the SRC green-lighted a four-school, 480-student pilot program… Kudos to Hite and the SRC for taking a chance on Springboard.”
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What kids need: A disruptive influence

By: Larry Platt ... I'm no education expert. But I know that vast, intransigent systems turn like tankers, and often need outside forces to help steer a new course. I'm hoping that someone like Gac-Artigas, with his limitless energy and refusal to settle for the way things are, will be invited by Ramos and the powers-that-be to the problem-solving table. We need a new establishment: Here's to letting disrupters like Alejandro Gac-Artigas be part of it. Read article…

Closing the Literacy Gap in Philadelphia

By: Helen Cunningham, President of the Samuel S. Fels Fund … If fundraising and school expansion go well, Alejandro can reach 8 schools serving 960 children & families in 2013 and 4,200 children & families by 2015. The program shows such promise that, by adopting it for the entire District, the Philadelphia public schools could close the literacy gap in four years. Read article…


July 2013. This month Springboard Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based education startup whose mission it is to close the reading achievement gap, has launched its largest initiative to date, involving roughly 700 Philadelphia families and 63 teachers.
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Introducing 2013 School Partners

August 2013. This morning, 130 families and 11 teachers embarked on a shared mission to generate big and lasting reading gains for their students. The cohort includes pre-Kindergarteners. On July 8th, 800 families at 7 more schools will join them.
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A Defining Moment For Springboard

May 2013. We announce a historic vendor agreement with the School District of Philadelphia. This poises Springboard to access the 75% of students enrolled in district schools and also paves the way for more innovation to follow.
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2012 Results: The Data Email

October 2012. We share results and analysis from the summer. Students replaced reading losses with equivalent gains. Parent attendance exceeded 90%, breaking records at each school.
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Summer 2012: Parents In Their Own Words

September 2012. No one can better express our impact than Springboard parents. Read a letter from a mother, and watch 5 families share their stories in 3 minutes.
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