My experience with AppleTree convinced me of the value of a focus in literacy and an early childhood educational focus. AppleTree achieves great results because of its model that includes excellent and well trained teachers, and classroom resources that touch the neediest children.
I assisted Appletree Institute in a previous position with a foundation that offered financing support and guarantees for public charter schools. After I left that position, I was asked to join the Board of Trustees. Singularly: I am impressed that the organziation can help children who otherwise would enter kindergarten significantly behind their peers to perform at the same level of their peers. The data driven model and intensive staff training is making a difference for kids and a difference in our community that will endure for many years ahead.
AppleTree is an organization that immediately touched me from my first exposure. Working to provide a better life for underserved children in the District of Columbia through early childhood development is something was very much needed in the District. Their results are outstnding and give children and opportunity for success in their early learning years.
Coming from a public policy background, I value that AT has a sharp focus on putting in place effective educational practices. AT reviews the current research on how to help preschoolers get up to speed in their literacy skills, puts that research into practice, and then evaluates whether their work is up to par. This program can show that it is effective and is worthy of support.
Apple Tree serves preschool children who are at risk of academic failure in one of the worst school systems in our nation - Washington, DC. The program is so successful that other states have hired them for teacher assessment and review implementation. They were just awarded an Obama I3 grant to take their program to others, and they are still growing their own school size. They opened 2 more sites this fall so their growth rate is strong. One Nobel Laureate economist recommends investment in young children as the best way to improve society; this program gathers hard data to support the program's success and works with and supports teachers in and out of the classroom. It is my highest philanthropic priority. Thank you.