Educational Institutions

Strategies for Children, Inc.

  • Boston, MA
  • www.strategiesforchildren.org

Mission Statement

Strategies for Children, Inc. (SFC) works to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.

Main Programs

  1. Early Education for All Campaign
  2. Leading the Conversation: Turning the Page.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

SFC 's campaign is to ensure that children across Massachusetts have access to high-quality early education and become proficient readers by the end of third grade. Although its mission is universal, SFC focuses first on closing the achievement gap among children in low-income families. Locally, we partner with communities who are committed to early learning and nationally. Nationally, we provide consulting and advisory services to advocacy, philanthropic and civic organizations working in other states and at the federal level.

ruling year

2001

Principal Officer since 2014

Self-reported

Mr. Chris Martes

Keywords

Self-reported

policy, advocacy, preschool, catalyst, thought leader

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EIN

04-3551406

 Number

8568633814

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Government and Public Administration (W20)

Community Coalitions (S21)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

After a decade spent laying the foundation for a statewide system of high-quality early education, SFC launched our 10-year campaign to improve reading proficiency in 2010 with the release of ""Turning the Page: Refocusing MA for Reading Success,"" (TtP) which the Boston Foundation helped fund. SFC commissioned the groundbreaking report from a Harvard literacy expert to address a stubborn problem. Research identifies third grade reading as a critical benchmark, but 39% of MA third graders - and 66% in Boston - read below grade level. Among low-income children, 60% are not proficient. Performance is virtually unchanged since 2001. SFC is using the report's framework to guide its reading proficiency campaign at the state and local levels. Our efforts have paid off. In January, Governor Patrick included an unprecedented $131 million in new early education investments in his FY14 budget proposal, using third grade reading proficiency as a frame. Other highlights include: - SFC launched the MA Reading Proficiency Learning network. SFC is partnering with five communities - including Boston - to go deeper and to improve children's ability to read proficiently; - SFC launched Leading the conversation, a statewide series of events which delve deeper into the recommendations from TtP; - Governor Patrick signed an Act Relative to Third Grade Reading Proficiency into law. We worked with the legislature to file the legislation, which was informed by TtP. The law positions early learning in the highest levels of state government; - The state was awarded a $50 million federal Early Learning Challenge grant. The grant was a validation of our work laying the foundation for a system of high-quality early education. SFC's 2013 goals are to leverage the governor's proposal to increase investment; to continue developing our ambitious reading proficiency campaign; and to further build our organizational capacity to support the work.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Early Education for All Campaign

The pioneering Early Education for All Campaign is a statewide coalition of leaders from diverse sectors - business, education, early childhood, labor, health care, philanthropy, religion - that works with parents, grassroots leaders and policymakers to ensure that Massachusetts children have access to high-quality early education. Its successes include creation of the nation's first Department of Early Education and Care and establishment of the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$600,000.00

Program 2

Leading the Conversation: Turning the Page.

Leading the Conversation is one prong of SFC's two-pronged best practices initiative. It is a series of events designed to help leaders and practitioners serving children from birth to age 9 implement the recommendations in ""Turning the Page."" Each Leading the Conversation event features experts summarizing research and offering examples of best practices. Resources permitting, Leading the Conversation will also include webinars and other means to disseminate the information to a broad audience. Judging by the response to the first event (on family engagement), which quickly attracted so much interest SFC moved it to a bigger venue, there is a hunger for this information. The series is designed to complement the statewide policy work that resulted in An Act Relative to Third Grade Reading Proficiency, which Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law in September 2012 and which is also informed by ""Turning the Page.""

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$50,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

SFC 's campaign is to ensure that children across Massachusetts have access to high-quality early education and become proficient readers by the end of third grade. Although its mission is universal, SFC focuses first on closing the achievement gap among children in low-income families. Locally, we partner with communities who are committed to early learning and nationally. Nationally, we provide consulting and advisory services to advocacy, philanthropic and civic organizations working in other states and at the federal level.

Funding Needs

SFC's most pressing needs are:- Financial support for our proven constituency building/research/awareness/mobilization strategies to leverage the Governor's leadership for significant investments in high-quality early education and care; - Financial support to further develop our ambitious reading proficiency campaign which has great potential to impact the lives of millions of children across the country; - Financial support for the MA Reading Proficiency Learning Network. While participating communities contribute to help defray the overall cost of $100,000, additional funding is necessary; - Financial support to expand Leading the Conversation. Interest in this event series is far exceeding venue capacity. Additional funding is sought for technology for webinars and other means of reaching a wide audience. - New champions from business and other sectors who recognize that the future of our commonwealth is dependent upon our collective ability to provide children the chance they need to succeed in school and in life.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

STRATEGIES FOR CHILDREN INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Strategies for Children, Inc.

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Chris Martes

BIO

As president and chief executive officer, Christopher Martes is responsible for the overall strategic leadership and management of Strategies for Children, an independent nonprofit organization that works to ensure that children in Massachusetts have access to high-quality early education, enter elementary school ready to succeed, and become proficient readers by the end of third grade.Chris has served on SFC's board since 2012. A former director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Chris has decades of experience in many K-12 leadership roles. After starting his career in the classroom, he served as both principal and superintendent in a number of Massachusetts communities including Framingham, Newton, Foxborough, and Medfield. In the 2013-2014 school year, he served as interim superintendent for Wrentham Public Schools. In 2008, Chris was honored as the Massachusetts School Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. He has served as adjunct faculty at Cambridge College and University of New Hampshire, engaged in education consulting on the topics of administrator training and strategic planning, and presented at numerous conferences, seminars, and workshops.Chris holds multiple degrees in education, including a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and School Administration from Boston College, a Master of Education in School Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, both from Bridgewater State University.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Strategies for Children is evolving to fill a new role in the birth-third grade continuum. Policymakers and community leaders are increasingly interested in prioritizing young children's growth and development, school readiness, and early academic success. The question we now face is - how do we get there? Building upon our expertise in advocacy, awareness-raising, and coalition building, SFC is bridging the worlds of policy and practice, and helping to ensure public and private resources are allocated effectively to impact outcomes for children. This means helping to inform the early learning strategies of local leaders and teams, and connecting communities to state policy opportunities and to one another, all while advocating for increased public investment to expand high-quality pre-k. If we hope to close the achievement gap (evident between groups of children as young as 18 months), the commonwealth must invest in high-quality early learning supports and programs for all children, beginning at birth. Having spent a career in K-12 education and leadership roles, I know that schools can't do it alone, nor should they be expected to. As a political issue, early education is more prominent in this year's Massachusetts gubernatorial race than in any previous state election. This presents a huge opportunity to achieve our vision. I look forward to working with you, our partners, to turn these opportunities into meaningful outcomes for children."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Paul O'Brien

The O'Brien Group Inc.

Term: July 2001 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?