Educational Institutions

STAMFORD PUBLIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION INC

  • Stamford, CT
  • www.spefct.org

Mission Statement

The Stamford Public Education Foundation's mission is to support the
students and teachers in Stamford's Public Schools through community
collaboration and philanthropy.

At the elementary school level, the Foundation supports literacy
initiatives and at the middle and high school levels our focus is on
college and career readiness.

Main Programs

  1. Reading is FUNdamental
  2. Stamford Mentoring Program
  3. Naviance
  4. NEXT Generation
  5. Work Study
  6. SPEF Tutors
  7. Family Literacy Nights
  8. Book Give-Aways
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

ruling year

1997

CEO since 2015

Self-reported

Mr. Matthew Quinones

Co Principal Officer since 2009

Self-reported

Susan Rigano

Keywords

Self-reported

Stamford Public Education; supporting students and teachers in Stamford's Public Schools

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Also Known As

SPEF

EIN

06-1462359

 Number

2675636367

Physical Address

733 Summer Street Suite 203

Stamford, 06901

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Secondary/High School (B25)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

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

The Stamford Public Education focuses its efforts on improving literacy skills in elementary school students and preparing middle and high school students for post secondary success in college or career training.

We are a member of the national Public Education Network and the Connecticut Consortium of Education Foundations and we work closely with the Local Education Foundations in Norwalk, Bridgeport, Hartford and Yonkers.

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

Reading is FUNdamental

Reading is FUNdamental (RIF) is a national literacy nonprofit that focuses on motivating children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need it most. SPEF is honored to reintroduce this valuable program to the Stamford community.

Stamford elementary school students have the chance to select a book of their choice to take home and keep. Many students have a rich collection of books at home, while others are growing up in homes without any books. RIF‘s mission is to put a book in the hand of every child.

The opportunity to choose a book and take it home can inspire children to make greater choices—to choose learning, to choose success in school and life, and to choose a brighter future.

At each book distribution, volunteers motivate children to read with activities designed to get kids excited about books. Activities include: interactive story times with guest readers, literacy activities and reading tips for parents.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 2

Stamford Mentoring Program

The mission of the Stamford Mentoring Program is to provide students who are in need of additional academic and/or social support with the resources and guidance necessary to be successful during middle school, high school, and in all college/ career endeavors. The Stamford Mentoring Program brings college, corporate, and community volunteers into the Stamford Public Schools for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with students in grades six through eight and biweekly mentoring sessions for students in grades nine through eleven. Mentors work through a grade-specific curriculum that focuses on four main objectives: Goal Setting, Academic Engagement, Extracurricular Involvement, and College and Career Readiness.

For the 2014-2015 school year, the program has expanded to serve students at eight schools in Stamford: Hart Magnet Elementary School, Newfield Elementary School, Stark Elementary School, Dolan Middle School, Cloonan Middle School, Rippowam Middle School, Scofield Magnet Middle School, Stamford High School,Turn of River Middle School, Stamford High School.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 3

Naviance

Every student has the potential for post-secondary success. In alignment with the Stamford Public Education Foundation’s focus on preparing students for college and/or career training, a second year of funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation has allowed SPEF to continue to work with the Stamford Public Schools to increase the use of Naviance Family Connection throughout the district to inspire and guide students towards career and college readiness.
Used in 4,200 schools by 100,000 educators in 72 countries, Naviance Family Connection allows Stamford’s 5,000 high school students, their parents and guidance counselors to investigate, research, track and plan for the college admission process. Students are encouraged to complete grade-specific milestones to create resumes, complete online surveys, compare schools, sign up for college visits, manage deadlines and apply for local, state and national scholarships.
Because Naviance maps the GPA and SAT scores of each student against the entry level requirements of the colleges he or she is considering, students are able to assess the likelihood of being accepted by the colleges they wish to attend.
Naviance helps students, parents and guidance counselors keep track of college and scholarship application milestones during the high school years. By the end of February 2012, at least 49% of all seniors have submitted their college applications online using Naviance Family Connection. By sending information electronically the district has saved over $56,000.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 4

NEXT Generation

The Stamford Public Education Foundation's Next Generation program conveniently brings volunteer opportunities onsite to local businesses. We partner with elementary schools to run weekly hour-long sessions with company volunteers and students grades 2 through 5. Students are selected to participate in the program based on their family's economic standing and a lack of enrollment in other after-school activities.

The program is designed to help students improve their grades, expand their horizons, and to allow corporate volunteers to have a positive impact of the future of Stamford's next generation. One of our volunteers says, "Having a chance to interact with the children has been really great. When you have a stressful day and you're worried about work, having the chance to take an hour away from the desk and do something rewarding with these kids... it feels as though my blood pressure goes down by twenty points! I feel much more relaxed. These sessions help me have a better day."

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 5

Work Study

The Stamford Public Education Foundation’s Work Study program brings volunteer opportunities onsite to local businesses in the area. SPEF works collaboratively with local high schools to run ten consecutive workshops during the school year to help business and finance students develop an effective resume, hone their interview skills, receive financial literacy training, practice their presentation skills and develop an understanding of the corporate sector. SPEF provides the volunteers with written instructions at each session to ensure that every interaction is professional, effective and productive for both the students and the volunteers.

The head of the business department at Stamford High School notes, “The SPEF partnership with Stamford High School has afforded business students and teachers the opportunity to network with volunteers from RBS. The various topics that are covered reinforce and complement real-world experiences! GREAT PROGRAM! Thank you!”

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 6

SPEF Tutors

In August 2014, SPEF launched a tutoring program in collaboration with Match Education to provide daily math tutoring sessions to 100 ninth grade students at Stamford High School. In the 2015, SPEF assumed full ownership of the program and will continue to work with 90-100 ninth grade students each school year. SPEF provides an extensive screening process to assure that all tutors are not only proficient in math, but also excel in a tutoring dynamic. All of the students enrolled in the program meet with tutors for a full period each day, in a two to one ratio, showing significant improvement in their math skills.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 7

Family Literacy Nights

Launched in 2013 in partnership with the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, SPEF invites Springdale Elementary School’s English as a Second Language (ESL) students Grades K-3 as well as their families to Family Literacy Night. This program is held four to five times per year at the Lathon Wider Community Center in Stamford’s South End.

With the help of thirty volunteers and three bilingual teachers, children receive free age-appropriate books and engage in literacy-based activities with their volunteers, such as reading and craft projects. Two of the bilingual teachers, who are from Springdale Elementary and have an established relationship with the families, work with the parents. Workshops for parents include ways to help support their children’s education, as well as how to navigate the Stamford Public School system. A complimentary dinner is served to all who attend. All families also leave with goodie bags filled with activities and healthy snacks to take home.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 8

Book Give-Aways

This program focuses on motivating children to read by distributing free books and literacy resources to low-income children and families. SPEF partners with Reading is FUNdamental and The Ferguson Library to distribute approximately 4,000 brand new books every year to low-income children through book give-a-ways and donations to community centers throughout the city.

Since 2013 SPEF holds two large-scale RIF book giveaways per year at the Ferguson Library (300-400 children and adults attend each event, distributing 600-700 books per giveaway). These events also include a professional storyteller, guest readers from the Stamford community, arts & crafts activities, and snacks for all who attend.

In 2014 SPEF expanded to include the Summer Book Give-a-way Series, holding eight book give-a-ways at community centers each year in an effort to help curb summer learning loss. Approximately 2,000 books are distributed each summer. SPEF also provides book donations throughout the year to other local organizations, as well as to the City of Stamford.

In the 2015/2016 SPEF plans to expand the program, bringing book give-a-ways directly to all twelve Stamford Public Elementary schools.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    SPEF's programs successfully impact the lives of Stamford students in the 12 Elementary Schools, bringing students from Roxbury on-site to RBS weekly, for our “Next Generation" tutoring sessions; partnering with the Ferguson Library to distribute free books and literacy resources to low-income children and families through Reading is Fundamental; and partnering with the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk to holds four literacy events for kindergarten, first and second grade Springdale students and their families, in Stamford's South End.

    For the 5 Middle Schools and 3 High Schools in Stamford our programs focus on College & Career Readiness, with the Stamford Mentoring Program our flagship offering. It provides students who are in need of additional academic and/or social support with the resources and guidance necessary to be successful during middle school, high school and in all college/career endeavors. It partners trained college, community and corporate volunteers with middle and high school students for one-on-one mentoring sessions. With the expansion of the Stamford Mentoring Program to include 5th grade (focused on a Service-Learning approach), we expect 375 students will have benefited from our Stamford Mentoring Program by the end of the 2014/2015 school year.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    - Continue to measure outcomes of all SPEF programs and use the data to improve and expand reach throughout Stamford

    - Work with Board Committee in key areas: Finance, Development, Human Resources, Marketing and Programs

    - Operationalize the Strategic plan

  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    SPEF's programs successfully impact the lives of Stamford students in the 12 Elementary Schools, bringing students from Roxbury on-site to RBS weekly, for our “Next Generation" tutoring sessions; partnering with the Ferguson Library to distribute free books and literacy resources to low-income children and families through Reading is Fundamental; and partnering with the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk to holds four literacy events for kindergarten, first and second grade Springdale students and their families, in Stamford's South End.

    For the 5 Middle Schools and 3 High Schools in Stamford our programs focus on College & Career Readiness, with the Stamford Mentoring Program our flagship offering. It provides students who are in need of additional academic and/or social support with the resources and guidance necessary to be successful during middle school, high school and in all college/career endeavors. It partners trained college, community and corporate volunteers with middle and high school students for one-on-one mentoring sessions. With the expansion of the Stamford Mentoring Program to include 5th grade (focused on a Service-Learning approach), we expect 375 students will have benefited from our Stamford Mentoring Program by the end of the 2014/2015 school year.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    SPEF tracks the performance and measures the results of programing through pre- and post surveys. SPEF continually works to increase the efficiency of programs and adapts programs on an annual basis in order to effectively serve the students, volunteers and school district.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    SPEF's flagship program is the Stamford Mentoring Program. Our traditional program partners college, community and corporate volunteers for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with students in grades six through eight. For students in grades nine through eleven, the sessions are bi-weekly. Students in the mentoring program are identified by school staff as being in need of additional academic and/or social support. This program aligns with SPEF's overall mission by providing mentoring services and resources to students to help prepare them for success in college or career training.

    An original, grade-specific curriculum designed by SPEF program staff helps all students participating in the program to set goals, increase their academic engagement as reflected by report card grades, participate in at least one positive extracurricular activity, and research colleges and careers. Every volunteer is required to submit to a criminal background check and participate in a mandatory orientation session. Mentors are also required to provide SPEF program staff with a written summary of the weekly sessions. The school district and parents supply the mentors with quarterly progress reports and report cards, so that they are able to focus specifically on subjects in which the students need the most help.

    This school year (2014/2015), SPEF expanded our program into the 5th grade classroom with the introduction of a new model of mentoring called Service-Learning. This model is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. During weekly mentoring sessions, mentors and mentees discuss topics related to Service-Learning (i.e., civic engagement, citizenship, community service, and leadership). The culmination of the program is a community or school enhancement project. It has been met with praise by teachers, mentors and students.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

Social Media

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Financials

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

STAMFORD PUBLIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION 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.

STAMFORD PUBLIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION INC

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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CEO

Mr. Matthew Quinones

Co Principal Officer

Susan Rigano

BIO

Matthew Quinones returned to SPEF in May 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. He had served as SPEF’s Director of Operations from October 2009 – September 2014, during which he was instrumental in creating and launching SPEF’s nationally-recognized Stamford Mentoring Program. Prior rejoining SPEF, Matt served as Manager, Recruitment & Talent Support for AmeriCares. He is currently a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives, serving on the Education Committee, State & Commerce Committee, Cost Savings & Revenue Enhancement Committee, and as Vice-Chair of the Public Safety & Health Committee. In addition, Matt serves as a Commissioned Officer in the Connecticut Army National Guard. Born and raised in Stamford, Matt graduated from Stamford High in 2004 and holds a B.A. from the University of Connecticut.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Robert King

Community Volunteer

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

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?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

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

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

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

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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