Friday, May 06, 2011

Path Blocked? Open New Channel.

At Thursday's Education Nation summit I heard the co-founder of Groupon, Brad Keywell, talk about how difficult it was for him to have his offer to help a local Chicago public school be accepted. The Principle said "call the central office". He did not give up, and as an entrepreneur, he innovated a way to make direct contact with a teacher and a classroom.

In many neighborhoods the public school is a dinosaur that prevents community organizations and businesses from becoming involved with kids. When this is the case I say, "open a new channel". Connect with them in the non-school hours and/or through the internet.

One organization that I just met today, who is doing this is The Center for Educational Pathways (CEP), based in New York City. CEP is a nonprofit organization that establishes alternative pathways to literacy, learning, and character development for underserved youths, schools, and communities.

CEP develops curricula, professional development, and new media resources for student populations most in need. By partnering with schools and community-based organizations, CEP reconnects children to a love of learning through creativity, inquiry, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. CEP has four separate but closely related objectives. You can see a CEP Youth Music Exchange program at Manley High School in Chicago.

In the Role of Leaders essay we encourage CEOs to create learning teams who use the T/MC web site and similar resources to learn where they can get involved and ways they can use their people, technology, dollars, and visibility to help these programs have the operating resources to be more effective partners to the company and mentors to the kids.

There are many ways companies can support learning if they think out of the box. We're here to help you and want you to help us in return.

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