The partnership launched with events in various school districts globally including, McAllen ISD, Texas, District School Board of Niagara, Ontario, Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division No.119, Prince Albert Saskatchewan and St. Stephen's CE Primary School, UK. In these locations, the schools utilized Choose2Matter's student-centered philosophy and, in tandem, some also leveraged SMART Learning Suite to collaborate with other students and solve real-world issues such as bullying and inequality, demonstrating to students that they have the ability to create an impact. The Choose2Matter philosophy honors, supports and explores students' passions and guides them in how to be effective learners and citizens by drawing the connections to what they do in school to the broader community.
"Choose2Matter's empowering vision is strongly aligned with our values at SMART," commented Jeff Lowe, VP of Marketing at SMART. "We look forward to continuing to partner with Choose2Matter on a global scale by equipping classrooms with solutions that help students at all grade levels discover their passion and realize their full potential," he said.
"Together, Choose2Matter and SMART can grow, search and deepen the commitment to children and the mission of helping every student understand that they matter," commented Angela Maiers, Founder of Choose2Matter. "With SMART's solutions, students can share, collaborate and work together on projects, effectively assisting them in having a voice among their peers and in their communities. It's the missing link to ensure that students can connect with change-makers and extend their projects to reach their full potential," she said.
Tammy Brecht Dunbar, M.Ed., STEM and leader of "The Room Nine Kids" a fifth grade classroom in Manteca Unified School District in California, was an early adopter of the Genius Matters philosophy. The impact it had greatly exceeded her expectations which she outlined in a three-part blog series. Mrs. Dunbar commented that focusing on character and genius nets unexpected results. Mrs. Dunbar referenced the results of the first standardized district proficiency tests in math that her students took after experiencing the lessons, noting, "I was shocked to see the growth of the average class score. In math, the class average increased from 12.7 out of 20 to 16.6 out of 20."
Research has consistently shown that effective social and emotional-focused educational programs raise student test scores.
- A 2008 report by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, discussed three effective SEL programs that increased student test score by 11 to 17 percent.
- A 2009 PBS New Hour program similarly reported that a focus on SEL raises test scores.
- Most recently, a report endorsed by a large group of college admissions officers strongly encouraged schools to help students "develop their analytical strength, their empathic and generative selves, and their inner lives of reflection, values and aspirations."
Ms. Maiers and SMART will be conducting sessions at BETT and TCEA for local educators and students. For visitors at BETT, Angela will be in the SMART Platinum Suite on Wednesday, January 25 at 4:30pm GMT to connect students in the UK with students in McAllen, Texas for a livestream learning session. Mrs. Maiers will also provide a Genius Matters keynote at 11:00am GMT on Thursday, January 26 in the SMART stand D90. Ms. Maiers and SMART will also be present at TCEA in Austin, Texas in February 6-10, 2016 and available for meetings.
Choose2Matter is a universal movement and community that challenges students to make "mattering" a way of life. Started in 2011, Choose2Matter was founded on the belief that if you reach students through their hearts and when students accept they matter and know their actions count; learning, lives and worlds change.
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