Ten years ago, The Community Foundation convened a group of education advocates and philanthropists to learn how to accelerate progress in our public schools. They saw education as an economic and moral imperative for the city of Jacksonville. Out of this convening, a high capacity public education fund was born: an independent nonprofit organization that could research best practices and innovative approaches, galvanize the community to get involved, and invest in strategic projects in partnership with Duval County Public Schools.
Community Engagement: Putting the Public Back in Public Education
One of JPEF's first initiatives was the 1 in 3 exhibit, an unprecedented meeting of art and action. Black and white photography of Jacksonville youth shared their stories of struggling to graduate high school. At the time, about 1 in 3 students was not graduating on time. The graduation rate at Duval County Public Schools was XXX. The 1 in 3 exhibit debuted at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and then traveled around the city, raising awareness of the issue and mobilizing people for change.
Soon, the 1 in 3 exhibit became a movement: ONE by ONE, Jacksonville residents shared their hopes and desires for our public schools through structured conversations with trained volunteers. More than XXX conversations were held, leading to XX priorities for the school system: X, Y, Z and H. At the XX Convention, then-Superintendent Nikkolai Vitti adopted the priorities as the district's strategic plan.