Press Release

Community Leaders Head Back to School for Education Awareness Week

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Posted 3/27/13

Junior Achievement and Teach For America Team Up to Raise Awareness of Educational Opportunities in Week Long Event With Rhode Island Community Leaders, Including Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and NAACP-Providence President Jim Vincent

PROVIDENCE, RI. — Leaders from across Rhode Island will serve as guest teachers during Education Awareness Week hosted by Junior Achievement and Teach For America, to be held March 25 – 29.  Confirmed participants include Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo, among other leaders.

Education Awareness Week draws community leaders statewide to support educational excellence for all of Rhode Island’s children. These volunteers will visit the classrooms of teachers, including Teach For America corps members, and teach lessons based on their experiences in business, government, and beyond.

“Education Awareness Week is an opportunity to bring together the key stakeholders of both organizations to support a shared vision of student achievement and economic empowerment,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “We believe this collaboration will help advance our complementary missions which will result in more Rhode Island young people having access to opportunity and success.”

The collaboration between Junior Achievement and Teach For America is part of joint national and regional initiatives to tap into the capacity of both organizations to partner with communities to increase opportunities for students.  Education Awareness Week combines activities from both organizations including JA Leaders Day, a unique one-day program where community leaders provide instruction on JA’s elementary curriculum, and Teach For America Week, where guest teachers commit to teaching one lesson in a corps member’s classroom during the course of the week.

“We’re excited about our collaboration with Junior Achievement and the broad range of leaders participating in our education awareness week,” said Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach For America-Rhode Island. “It takes a community to educate our children and by having local leaders share their expertise in the classroom, we are helping focus attention on the importance of providing all children with the educational opportunities they deserve.”

Community leaders will be guest teaching in a number of area schools including Carl G. Lauro Elementary School, Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy (Elementary and Middle), Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex, Mount Pleasant High School, Paul Cuffee School, Roger Williams Middle School, and Trinity Academy For the Performing Arts.

As a thought leader and creator of innovative work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement of Rhode Island has more than 600 volunteers inspiring and empowering 10,500 students to believe in themselves and have the tools to be prepared for the real world.

Teach For America-Rhode Island is a regional corps of top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in public schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to expand educational opportunity. This year in Rhode Island, 50 Teach For America corps members are reaching more than 3,800 students in underserved schools while some 100 alumni are working from every sector to level the playing field for students and families in low-income communities.

A growing body of rigorous research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members as classroom teachers. Recent studies from LouisianaNorth Carolina and Tennessee found that corps members have a positive impact on student achievement.

Full list of confirmed guest teachers:

Maryellen Butke, President of MEB Strategies – Thursday, March 28
Nancy Carriuolo, President of Rhode Island College – Wednesday, March 27
Lisa Churchville, Principal at LGC Advisors – Wednesday, March 27
David Cicilline, U.S. Representative for the First Congressional District of Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Kristin Fraser, Managing Partner of KPMG – Thursday, March 28
Allan Fung, Mayor of the City of Cranston – Tuesday, March 26
Christopher Graham, Co-Partner In-Charge of Edwards Wildman – Thursday, March 28
Deborah Gist, Commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Education – Wednesday, March 27 & Thursday, March 28
Ned Handy, President of Citizens Bank Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
William Hatfield, President of Bank of America Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Peter Kilmartin, Attorney General of the State of Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Lisa Levesque, Vice President at Fidelity Investments - Thursday, March 28
Joseph McNamara, Rhode Island State Representative – Thursday, March 28
Sherri Miller-Williams, Executive Director of United Providence – Thursday, March 28
Kim Perry, Vice President at Fidelity Investments – Wednesday, March 27
Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer of the State of Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Dennis Rebelo, President of Alex and Ani University – Thursday, March 28
Jack Reed, U.S. Senator of Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Elizabeth Roberts, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode Island – Thursday, March 28
Kathie Shields, President of Tech Collective – Thursday, March 28
Rosanna Sinel, Founder and President of StyleWeek, LLC – Tuesday, March 26
Angel Taveras, Mayor of the City of Providence – Wednesday, March 27 & Thursday, March 28
Vic Vetters, General Manager of NBC10 – Thursday, March 28
Jim Vincent, President of NAACP-Providence –Thursday, March 28
Laurie White, President of Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce – Tuesday, March 26 & Thursday, March 28

About Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA)
Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 7 percent of the Rhode Island student population per year in more than 26 communities across Rhode Island. Visit http://jarhodeisland.org for more information or connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/juniorachievementri.

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, more than 10,000 corps members are teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeachForAmerica and Twitter at www.twitter.com/TeachForAmerica.