Faces of transformation: ONE by ONE delegates get first-hand view of Quality Education for All Fund investments

10/14/2014

On October 6, about 70 ONE by ONE Delegates and community members met at The Leadership Schools at Eugene J. Butler to learn more about the Quality Education for All (QEA) Fund and to brainstorm ideas about how to get the community involved in this transformation effort. The QEA Fund is an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, in partnership with Duval County Public Schools and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. It aims to increase the academic performance of the nearly 17,000 students who attend Ribault, Raines and Jackson high schools and their feeder pattern middle and elementary schools - 37 schools in all. You can learn more about the QEA Fund at QEAFund.org.

The event started with an incredible performance of both chorus for the female and male students as well as a poem performed by another student.

OxO Fall Meeting 100614

After Superintendent Nikolai Vitti presented some general information about QEA, which includes private funding from local philanthropists and district initiatives to put special focus on high-quality teaching, ONE by ONE delegates worked in groups to brainstorm questions and ideas.

The main questions participants raised regarding the implementation of QEA were related to the sustainability of the initiative after the funds run out; how success will be measured and when; what long term impacts of QEA will be for schools, teachers, the entire district, and the broader community; and what is being done to engage parents of students at the 37 schools.

ONE by ONE delegates also suggested the importance of emphasizing that this transformation is going to take time and that results are not going to be immediate. Clear communication regarding the process is critical to keep the community engaged, also emphasis in a long-term vision and commitment from donors is critical so people can understand that this is not something temporary. Another recommendation is to share students and teachers' stories along the way so people can be better informed about how is the transformation going.

Exit surveys show that 95 percent of attendees felt that they had a better understanding about QEA after attending the meeting, 90 percent of them are willing to take specific action to support the initiative and felt prepared to share information about the initiative with other people. Check out the photos from the ONE by ONE Community Meeting and tag others that you may know!

OxO Meeting 100614

QEA is a community change, and it will take all of us working together to ensure its success. Here are some things you can do today to become a QEA advocate:

  • Learn more about the initiative! Go to QEAFund.org.

  • Let people in your network know about the Quality Education for All Fund. Could you host a presentation at your community group, house of worship or other gathering? Do you want promotional materials to give out? Let us know! Contact me at maira@jaxpef.org to learn more.

  • Donate to a project at one of the transformation schools on PowerUPJax.org. Right now, your donations are being matched dollar for dollar by Community First!

  • Visit one of the transformation schools through Discover Duval Schools. Go to www.jaxpef.org/discoverduvalschools to sign up!

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Maira Martelo

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