Catalytic Giving

Springboard Collaborative

Reading proficiency is closely linked to high school graduation rates, yet over half of New York City students in grades 3 through 8 are not proficient in reading. Similarly, the NYC Department of Education has found that 76% of 8th grade students are not proficient in writing. Literacy remediation in elementary school is a key component to future academic success, with a critical intervention period between kindergarten and the 3rd grade.

We were the first major funder to recognize the opportunity Springboard Collaborative presented to harness the potential of parent-teacher collaboration to close the literacy gap; we underwrote its expansion in Philadelphia and New York City. During a typical summer, most students experience a three-month regression in reading level. Springboard’s flagship five-week summer program not only avoids the regression but replaces it with an average 3.1-month gain. 

Springboard couples its impressive student gains with unmatched parent engagement. All parents receive a home visit from a teacher and attend weekly workshops to learn how to pick a reading-level appropriate book and what to do before, during, and after reading. On average, 90% of parents attend all workshops.

We've been able to grow rapidly in New York City thanks to Heckscher's generosity, guidance, and encouragement. We've increased student reading levels, developed families as at-home reading coaches, and transformed school communities through intentional capacity-building programming. None of that would have been possible without the ongoing support that Peter and his team have shown us since the very beginning. 
Andrew Karas, Executive Director, Springboard Collaborative
Andrew-Karas-Springboard-headshot

Springboard also offers an after-school program for the bottom quartile of readers for whom summer gains alone will not fully close the reading achievement gap. Students average a 3.5-month reading gain during the four months; parent workshops average 98% attendance. 

We sought to make a catalytic change in Springboard’s programming and reach by supporting the creation of a lower-cost certification model where Springboard trains and certifies teachers with a partner organization to implement and manage the Springboard program, and licenses products and services that unbundle its components.