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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

EAST INITIATIVE

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: Vision: The EAST Initiative will be the leading provider and advocate of innovative, transformational education that prepares students to succeed globally. Mission: The EAST Initiative accomplishes this by serving as a catalyst for transformational education through the implementation, training and support of local EAST programs in schools that focus on the EAST pillars of service-based, technology-driven, student-led, collaborative learning.

Results: The EAST model is grounded in solid pedagogical theory related to the use of technology as a catalyst for learning, collaborative learning, and performance-based learning. In the EAST model: -The use of technology promotes collaboration, higher order thinking, and problem solving. -Professional development is an important component of the education technology program. -Technology is effectively integrated into the curriculum. -Students independently select appropriate technology tools to obtain, analyze, synthesize and assimilate information. -Home/school connections are enhanced through the use of technology. -All students have adequate access to technology. -Teachers encourage students to utilize technology to find and make sense of information. Read more research and positive impact data at this link: http://www.eastinitiative.org/aboutcontact/research.aspx

Target demographics: youth accelerate their education through service and technology

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 25,000 students in five states with an overall impact of over 175,000 youth since 1996.

Geographic areas served: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Louisiana and Pennsylvania

Programs: EAST is education accelerated by service and technology. EAST inspires change. Through EAST, students are empowered with technology, by encouraging critical thinking and creative problem-solving and by engaging them in positive, real-world experiences. EAST advocates lifelong learning and community service so that participants can become positive agents of change to improve the world around them. A nonprofit organization headquartered in Little Rock, EAST currently serves more than 250 schools in four states. Additionally, EAST offers training to students and professional development for EAST educators and all classroom teachers, regardless of subject area or grade level.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

EAST is a wonderful program that teaches children and young adults to design their own learning program. It helps them learn to stay on task, self-direct in areas that they need more growth and training, and to have a vision for helping the community and those around them. EAST Initiative provides professional-grade software and the training needed to understand it to children who, in a few years, will be the leaders in our cities and towns. These students will have knowledge that the regular classroom cannot provide.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an EAST facilitator I've seen how this organization changes students and communities. Kids who lack motivation or direction acquire skills and new goals through technology and the applied sciences associated with community service projects. The organization strives to match scholarships and grants with the schools so everyone has an opportunity to upgrade or improve their resources. I CONSTANTLY hear from parents, kids, and community leaders that EAST is an outstanding program.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a recent recipient of their EAST Upgrade Grant, this organization is more than deserving of their rating due to every penny being reinvested back into the program, its Facilitators, and most importantly - the kids!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a EAST facilitator, in a very low socio-economic district, it is the most amazing thing to see some of these kids succeed for the first time, even on the simple things. I get to see some of these kids come out of their shells and start to grow as a person. I really do get chills up my spine when I see these kids acomplish something of their own, often for the first time. The EAST is amazing.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The EAST Initiative is absolutely life changing. Coming from a small town where there was no future in sight, the EAST Initiative gave me an opportunity that I could never repay. This company is extraordinary and I will never be able explain in words the appreciation I have for them. Giving students the experience of a student driven, project based environment truly helps to see what the real world is like. I can honestly say, "If it were not for the EAST Initiative, I would not be where I am today. I was ready for college and ready for my career because EAST gave me the skills needed to get here. Thank you to all the amazing people who believed and still believe in students like me."

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In EAST, students take initiative to become contributing members of their community. They identify problems and collaborate with their peers to find solutions using resources that are available.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

EAST grows students to their fullest potential and serves their community in invaluable ways. EAST embraces student driven projects and infuses the latest technology while focusing on the community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome program! Something for everyone! Students want to be a part of a program where they have a choice and a voice!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

EAST provides opportunities for my students to become self-directed, collaborative learners.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EAST gives students the tools needed to succeed in life. I have inly been a facilitator for a few months and I can already see the difference in my students.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

EAST helps students to discover their potential in ways that are different from a "traditional" classroom. It opens them to possibilities that they may not realize are available to them. It gives them confidence in themselves and what they are capable of creating and achieving.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The opportunities EASTInitiative provides to learners is beyond pale. EAST creates problem solvers and productive members of society. Students use this class and the opportunities provided to solve complex problems on a daily basis. It has been my experience that the students in the program are helpful, intuitive, and inquisitive in the subject which interests them the most.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

East gives the typical "troubled" student multiple opportunities to excel in areas that will apply to real life after high school, while simultaneously expanding creativity for all students in which they have the chance to perform selfless acts.

1 Christopher53

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EAST afford students from all different backgrounds to succeed and work at their on pace. Students are offered the opportunity to create their own tools to solve real world problems that they are passionate about.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EAST emerges the student in self directed learning. I have seen May classes that say this, but this is the only one that truly does.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EAST fulfills the three basic needs every classroom teacher wants but few are given: The students are provided with opportunity, tools and time. The program is about the students, not the marketing of instructional materials or out-of-touch exams. The EAST classroom expects the best from every student, recognizing each individual's pluses, without subtracting their so-called minuses. Students are encouraged, motivated, and yes, nudged into reaching higher and further than they thought they could go. No student idea is minimized - no 'far-fetched' concept is discounted. EAST students are given the great gift of respect, whether in elementary or high school. Skills learned in EAST can transform a community. Students with an EAST background can change the world.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EAST is an amazing class where all students are given the opportunity and tools to address real problems in their communities. The EAST class environment provides various technologies for students to use as they attempt to solve problems. As students dive in to solving these issues, they begin to make connections with community leaders and organizations. The EAST staff in Little Rock do a phenomenal job training teachers to run an EAST class. They also do an amazing job training students in various technologies. Please check out EASTinitiative.org for more information about this unique organization.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a facilitator for east initiative for just a few months and I have already seen how this program empowers children to make decisions, lead other students, solve problems, and get involved in ways they never thought they could. I am a firm believer of the flipped classroom or the fact that kids learn best when they are the ones responsible for gaining their own knowledge with the assistance of a facilitator. EAST is all of that and more rolled into a classroom that puts the technology in their hands to help them solve the issues of today. My favorite thing is that the technology is secondary to the life long skills that problem based learning allows the students to develop in a very real setting. I wish all classes could have this structure!!!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been involved in public education for over 26 years. This is the first organization I have found that is truly in it for the students. They give way more than they require from the schools that have an EAST program. The materials, support and program concept are all top notch and have opened a world of opportunities for our students. Our students can build a better world with the encouragement they get in EAST.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The EAST Initiative program is challenging our students to become responsible civic leaders and an asset to our community. Their innovative teaching strategies allows students use problem solving and advance technology to develop excellent opportunities for our youth.