As the former principal of Corvallis High School, the original host of MAPS, I have witnessed the positive impact the MAPS program can have on students from every level of the educational spectrum. I can list numerous facts and figures in regards to the reduction in dropouts, increase in GPA, increase in credits attained, and the overall engagement of MAPS students, but in the end, one major impact of MAPS resonates the most - creativity. Educators can often times get wrapped up in levels of proficiency, standards, learning targets and demonstration of mastery. We hold up A-level products from students who graduated the year before and say, "This is an exemplar." Although sound practice, the beauty of MAPS is that the there really is no traditional A-level. Therefore, students are asked/challenged to be creative and imagine limitless possibilities while learning technical skills. A simple, but rare concept. I have followed the progress of MAPS since I left Corvallis High School and can think of only a few examples of such high-impact, high-skill, and high-creativity programs. Thank you to the Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation for your incredible impact on the students of the Bitterroot Valley.
The Montana Arts Council, the state arts agency of Montana, funds the Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation with great pride. They are doing tremendous work with children and giving students top-notch video production training. Their work not only teaches students about the process and hones and expands children's creative abilities, but their work is focused on quality high enough that much of their work actually see on the air! As the state agency that provides seed funding for this work, the organization goes through a rigorous review as to how it approaches the work, what the students are learning and the quality of the training they receive. The Rosten Foundation consistenty gets highest marks on all counts, and we are very proud to be associated with the product of their efforts.
What started as one couple's vision to educate and facilitate career growth amongst our student population, has now grown to a full scale community effort of local, county and statewide participation. MAPS offers students the opportunity to learn and utilize real-world practicum for developing industry knowledge to move beyond High School in pursuit of college and professional careers. In a time when budget cuts and rising unemployment figures muddle the water for our graduating seniors, MAPS builds independence, creativity, business sense and confidence in our youth... all traits that will suit them well in their pursuit of productive and happy lives in the working world. By continuing to support MAPS, we are choosing to support and better future for all.
I'm proud to be a part of this important endeavor for rural Montana! When Peter first started the project, he had to rely on donated computers. I was happy to be part of a State of Montana program that could supply surplus computers to MAPS.
They've grown to where the State of Montana contracts with them for public service announcements and programing.
Can't wait to see them become a major player in the film industry!