Dallas-based education nonprofit, United to Learn, shared that it will partner with an additional 25 Dallas ISD elementary schools. The new schools double the number of campuses benefitting from United to Learn’s work, which aims to eliminate resource gaps and accelerate student achievement—now across 52 Dallas ISD elementary schools.
With a mission of changing lives by transforming the relationship between schools and community, United to Learn has proven its model for mobilizing community partners to support Dallas public schools. Beyond the 52 Dallas ISD elementary schools, the United to Learn network includes over 25 community partners, including private schools, faith-based organizations, and businesses working together to accelerate student achievement, develop purposeful leaders and create a united and thriving community.
“United to Learn’s unique approach serves as an outstanding model in how to best support our students and schools,” said Michael Hinojosa Dallas ISD superintendent. “The way United to Learn staff mobilize volunteers, businesses and community partners boosts student achievement and helps improve campuses in a way that aligns with our district vision and priorities.”
From 2013-2020, United to Learn has partnered with 27 Dallas ISD elementary schools across the Northwest Cluster of Dallas ISD.
“United to Learn’s original partnerships have ignited substantial investment in student resources, teacher trainings, and campus improvement,” said Abigail Williams, founder and CEO of United to Learn. “I am most encouraged by the progress in student achievement made by our campuses. But perhaps equally important, I am excited the partnerships galvanized significant private sector volunteer engagement and thus, the building of a more informed community (young and adult) empowered to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for ALL our students.”
“After continued requests from executive directors to the superintendent’s office across the district, our team embarked on a strategic plan to evaluate the possibility of expanding our efforts,” said Dave Monaco, board chair of United to Learn. “Thanks to general encouragement from the broader community, I am pleased that United to Learn will be expanding our campus partnerships citywide.”
United to Learn’s unique program model focuses on four research-driven and Dallas ISD-aligned pillars: 1) improve elementary schools’ social emotional health, 2) create more aspirational campus environments, 3) support greater literacy student achievement, and 4) develop an informed community empowered to advocate for educational equity from a culturally competent perspective.
Through smart, equitable investment and impactful volunteer engagement, literacy achievement across U2L’s original supported schools is outpacing district, county, and state averages. Increasing elementary reading achievement is at the heart of United to Learn’s vision of ensuring every student is positioned for long term success as research demonstrates students reading on grade level by 3rd grade are three times more likely to go on to college.
Burnet Elementary Principal Sonia Loskot noted, “Our steadily rising scores in literacy achievement are a direct reflection of United to Learn’s collaborative investment.”
Twelve of the new campuses are part of ACE 3.0 and 4.0 program under the leadership of Roshanda Clayton-Brown, and the remaining 13 are part of the Lincoln, Madison, Roosevelt, Carter Feeder Pattern led by Dr. Sheryl Wilson.
“Working with United to Learn over the last few years, I witnessed their impact in meeting school needs that would otherwise go unfulfilled,” said Roshonda Clayton-Brown, Dallas ISD Executive Director. “Their commitment to cultivating relationships while tackling resource gaps is why I am so excited to work alongside them to accelerate learning for thousands more Dallas ISD students.”
The United to Learn model hinges first on learning and understanding the vision for student achievement campus by campus. Conversations with both Ms. Brown and Dr. Wilson and several of their principals are on-going, while United to Learn is also visiting with partners and community members to collectively plan initiatives into the 2020-2021 school year.
“Our team will continue to take direction from district and school leadership as we build our partnership plans with each of the 25 new schools,” said Williams. “Among the trusted voices we thank for guiding us in this next phase of our work are new members to our Board of Directors, Dr. Pamela Lear and Miguel Solis; and new additions to our Advisory Council, Dr. Joan Hill, Sophia Johnson, Ben Leal, Byron Sanders, Dottie Smith, and Dawne Tribolet.”
Community members and businesses wanting to get more involved with these schools should contact United to Learn founder and CEO, Abigail Williams, (469) 848-7420.