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 level, the Foundation supports literacy and community leadership initiatives and at the middle and high school levels its focus is on college and career readiness. Its flagship program is the Stamford Mentoring Program, which served 736 students in grades 3 – 12 in the 2015/16 school year (a 52% increase over the previous year).

Main Programs

  1. Books Across Stamford
  2. Stamford Mentoring Program
  3. Next Gen Program
  4. Work Study
  5. SPEF Tutors
  6. Family Literacy Nights
  7. Odyssey of the Mind
  8. Parent Leadership Training Institute
  9. Success Planning Workshops
  10. Service Learning Mentoring
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

Books Across Stamford

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 (RIF) and The Ferguson Library to distribute over 5,000 new books every year through book give-a-ways and donations to community centers throughout the city.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 2

Stamford Mentoring Program

Launched in 2010, SPEF’s nationally-recognized mentoring program provides middle school students who need additional academic and/or social support with resources and guidance required to be successful. It partners college and corporate volunteers for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with students. The four primary objectives are: help students set goals, improve their academic standing, become engaged in positive after school activities and prepare for college, career training, or full time employment after high school graduation.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 3

Next Gen Program

The Stamford Public Education Foundation's Next Gen program 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 4

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 5

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 6

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 7

Odyssey of the Mind

The Stamford Odyssey of the Mind creates a positive and creative experience, outside of the normal classroom, where participating students have fun, work collaboratively and are exposed to STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Odyssey of the Mind is the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide. Millions of students from kindergarten through college have participated in the Odyssey of the Mind since its inception in 1979. Each team is faced with a long-term problem and a spontaneous challenge using concepts from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, while also incorporating the use of critical thinking skills, creativity and teamwork. Teams of five to seven students meet weekly for more than six months to develop solutions. Odyssey of the Mind provides an extra-curricular activity for students, driven by discovery and exploratory learning. The program teaches 21st Century Skills, is STEAM focused and supports current curriculum standards.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 8

Parent Leadership Training Institute

Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. They are also the best advocates for children in society. Parents can speak out on issues and inform policy-makers, the media, and other parents, about the needs of their families.

Stamford’s PLTI offers in-depth leadership training to 25-30 selected parents. Its stimulating curriculum boosts parents’ leadership skills to address areas of concern such as accessible child health, the achievement gap, neighborhood safety, and the significance of parental involvement. Together parents emerge as strong leaders and advocates for all children.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 9

Success Planning Workshops

Targeted at high school students in grades 9 – 12, this program prepares each student for post-high school success. Students meet four times during the school year to complete Naviance–based college and career readiness activities, mandated by The CT Student Success Plan. The experience is enhanced by a mentoring component that pairs trained mentors with small groups to facilitate discussions that support the activities that have been completed.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 10

Service Learning Mentoring

SPEF launched this program in the 2014/15 school year with acclaim from mentors, mentees, teachers and administrators. Service-Learning is an education strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. It connects the traditional classroom experience with the real life lessons that come through community service. Our programs are being offered for third and fifth grade classes.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 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?

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • 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?