WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To help address the high school dropout crisis, AT&T* is investing $2 million in initiatives that support the Grad Nation campaign goal of raising the graduation rate to 90% by 2020. Coinciding with the Building a Grad Nation Summit held in Washington, D.C. this week, AT&T announced a commitment to fund three initiatives that will better prepare students transitioning into high school and support the evolution of education into a more data-driven enterprise.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) will receive $1 million to expand its BE GREAT: Graduate program. Using established risk indicators, the program identifies vulnerable high school students and facilitates their graduation through proven mentorship. With AT&T's support, BGCA is widening the scope of this project with the launch of BE READY, a program for 8th and 9th graders designed to teach them study and organizational skills essential for high school and beyond.
"We are grateful for this generous support from AT&T enabling us to expand the reach of our graduation initiative," said BGCA President and CEO Roxanne Spillett. "We know from research and firsthand experience, that many of the middle school age youth we serve suffer serious challenges making a successful transition into high school. We believe that every child in America deserves a great future and graduating from high school is an absolute must."
Data Quality Campaign
AT&T is making a $500,000 contribution to the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a national collaborative effort to increase availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement. The DQC's latest annual report, Data for Action 2010, reveals that states are making record progress collecting accurate information, but must take more steps to ensure its effective use.
"Great progress has been made in the collection of key data, however, there is still work to be done to ensure our education system uses that data effectively," noted DQC's Executive Director Aimee Guidera. "The investment from AT&T will help the Data Quality Campaign and its partners continue to build the demand for data and develop capacity at all levels to use the information to help our students succeed."
AT&T is committing $500,000 to two projects with Civic Enterprises. The first project focuses on the development of high quality early warning and intervention systems through research on student absenteeism, behavioral problems, and course failures. Early warning systems can help predict high school graduation as early as the start of middle school, enabling faster intervention and giving students greater potential to succeed.
"Grad Nation is working to help all students graduate from high school prepared for the rigors of college and work," said John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises. "With AT&T's continued commitment to meeting the dropout challenge, including the Civic Marshall Plan and development of early dropout detection systems, we can accelerate our progress in meeting this essential goal."
Civic Enterprises will utilize the other half of AT&T's commitment to implement the Civic Marshall Plan. The Plan will initially focus on aligning the initiatives and assets of major institutions with the benchmarks of the Civic Marshall Plan, and providing the first annual update on progress being made to end the high school dropout crisis.
"Our funding supports initiatives that deliver on the top recommendations of the Grad Nation campaign," said Laura Sanford, President – AT&T Foundation. "Private sector funding helps bring crucial programs to scale to ensure more students graduate on time, prepared for post-secondary education and future careers."
This support is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T's four year, $100 million commitment to education. Launched in 2008, AT&T Aspire is one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and working with other organizations, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
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