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Do Wealthy Communities Breed the Best Education Innovations?

By Mary Jo Madda
“When it comes to improving education for students, then, where should proactive change come from most strongly—the parents and community, or the school? Low-income parents must be brought into the conversation, Gac-Artigas feels, in order to narrow the achievement gap. In fact, he believes that every school already has the resources to close the gap, but that a lot of “latent potential” in the home isn’t being utilized.”

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Millennials Are Reshaping The World Of Social Impact

By Vanessa Kirsch and Dana O’Donovan
“With a mission to close the reading achievement gap, Springboard Collaborative takes a unique in-sourced staffing approach by training public school teachers to collaborate with parents on reading achievement, using an ingeniously inexpensive approach that works within existing budgets to build lasting internal capacity in schools.”

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Big Ideas in Social Change, 2014

By Tina Rosenberg
“We often underestimate what ordinary people can accomplish and succumb to stereotypes about low-income people or minorities. Look at the Springboard Collaborative, a summer reading program in Philadelphia, for example. Springboard uses the public school system’s most underemployed resource: low income, predominately African-American or Latino parents, a group usually falsely written off as unable or unwilling to help their children.”

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Teaching Parents to Help Stop the ‘Summer Slide’

By Tina Rosenberg
“Tayonna, who wears glasses and had the sniffles, sat with her mother, Tasia Carlton, in late July in Emily Roggie’s classroom in Wissahickon Charter School in northwest Philadelphia. Tayonna pulled out “The Teddy Bears Have a Dream.” Carlton took her through the picture walk … “Looking at the picture and knowing the title, what do you think this book’s about?” she said.”

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The Way to Beat Poverty

By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
“Children’s programs are most successful when they leverage the most important — and difficult — job in the world: parenting… It’s far less expensive to coach parents to support children than to maintain prisons years later.”

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Additional Coverage:

Katie Couric World 3.0


Turning parents into teachers to fight the ‘summer slide’ in reading

“As the new school year approaches, teachers know that their students may have regressed over the summer. But one program has made strides in preventing summer learning loss by enlisting parents as partners to help teach children. Special correspondent for education John Merrow reports on Springboard Collaborative, a non-profit organization that makes parents and teachers into partners.” Read article…

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Gac-Artigas named to Forbes 30 Under 30 List

By Caroline Howard
“This former 1st grade teacher turned social entrepreneur’s goal is to close the literacy gap by transforming the summer from a barrier into a springboard for financially disadvantaged students and families. The Harvard and UPenn grad is a Teach for America and McKinsey & Company alum.”

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Additional Coverage:

EdSurge /
Generosity /
Cause Artist /
Huffington Post Impact

Big reading gains and no learning loss for Springboard students

By Connie Langland
“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.”

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M. Night Shyamalan shares vision for Springboard

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

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Springboard Collaborative Avoided a Sophomore Slump

By Jessie Fox
“…in 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.”

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Springboard Collaborative Welcomes the School Year

By Jessie Fox
“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
“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.”

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By engaging parents, reading program succeeds in reversing learning loss

By Connie Langland
“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.”

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Springboard takes a big leap

By Michael Hinkelman
“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.”

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Springboard Collaborative expands its innovative summer reading program

By Dana Henry
“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.”

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Fresh thinking for city schools

By Larry Platt
“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.”

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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.”

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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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parents on PBS

Springboard families on national TV!

Check out the families featured in this segment on Springboard that aired nationally on the PBS Newshour!
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Meet Springboard’s 2014 school partners!

We are proud to introduce 20 schools that are changing the status quo. We will empower these school communities to transform themselves.
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Announcing our second city!

Springboard just won a competitive bid to serve over 800 students at 7 district schools in the city of Camden, New Jersey.
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We Did It!

In 5 weeks, you collectively gave 240 low-income students in Springboard’s second city access to the learning opportunities all children deserve.
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  • Reg and his friends have a called Animal Farm. They love reading self-improvement and sci-fi books! Any s…
  • As the reading gap narrows, the achievement gap narrows. Read about the impact of literacy at a young age here:

Contact Us

Springboard Collaborative
Two Penn Center, Suite 1315
1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102