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 New York City 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.

Springboard Collaborative harnesses the potential of parent-teacher collaboration to close the literacy gap. 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. The summer program launched in Philadelphia and, after these impressive results, we underwrote its expansion to New York City.

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 have been able to grow rapidly in New York City thanks to the generosity, guidance, and encouragement from Heckscher. 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 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 programing 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, such as the family workshop curriculum and teacher training modules.