Community Improvement, Capacity Building

First Hand Learning Inc

  • Buffalo, NY
  • www.firsthandlearning.org

Mission Statement

To
promote learning from direct experience, inquiry-based teaching, and
collaboration among formal and informal educational organizations.

Main Programs

  1. Science Materials Center
  2. Science Firsthand
  3. TEAM Buffalo
Service Areas

Self-reported

New York

Western New York, St. Louis, Mo.

ruling year

1999

Principal Officer

Self-reported

David T. Hartney

Keywords

Self-reported

urban, schools, partnership, collaboration, mentoring, science, education,outdoor,notebook, literacy, journal, firsthand, science, after school, urban, inquiry,insects,mammals,archaeology,first hand learning,object lessons, nature, natural history

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Also Known As

Firsthand Learning

EIN

16-1556618

 Number

5256826791

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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

Collaborate with schools, museums, zoos, and community based organizations to provide in-school and after-school programs for urban youth, teacher professional
development programs, management of engaging objects and materials, and
design of curriculum and programs for learners of all ages.

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

Science Materials Center

Science Materials Center. Materials development and refurbishment operated in cooperation with and for the benefit of the Buffalo Public Schools. Over 1,000 teachers make quarterly requests for distribution of standards-based science materials.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$218,000.00

Program 2

Science Firsthand

Science Firsthand is a project that provides urban
community centers with two unique resources for involving middle school
youth with science during out-of-school time.

The first resource is an adult volunteer who becomes a child's
"partner in discovery" for once-a-week meetings at the center. The teams choose their own areas of investigation.

The second resource is support to the youth-adult teams for doing
science firsthand. In Buffalo, NY, that support comes from First Hand
Learning, Inc. and a cadre of volunteers. In St.
Louis, MO, and Albuquerque, NM respectively, the St. Louis Science Center and Explora! provide team support and
coordinate the involvement of area scientists and volunteers.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$180,000.00

Program 3

TEAM Buffalo

TEAM
Buffalo (Teens Engaged as Mentors) employs at-risk high school teens,
supported by their college mentors, in providing afterschool science
experiences to younger students at branch libraries in Buffalo.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$125,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

New York

Western New York, St. Louis, Mo.

Funding Needs

Research to improve the measurable positive effects of programs, and to test program models in new locations.   Expansion of proven programs to serve greater numbers of children and youth, and to sustain existing programs.

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

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

FIRST HAND LEARNING INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

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

First Hand Learning Inc

Leadership

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  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

David T. Hartney

BIO

After working as an engineer with General Electric from 1981 until
1984, Hartney began his education career as a middle and high school science
and mathematics teacher in North Carolina. He joined the staff of the Science and Technology for
Children (STC) project at the National Science Resources Center in 1989. He is
the primary author of four STC units, and a co-author of Outdoor Inquiries, published by Heinemann in 2007. Hartney served as managing director of
the Caltech Precollege Science Initiative in Pasadena from 1993 to 1997, where
he was the co-PI and project director of several teacher professional
development and preservice science education projects involving collaboration
with teachers, school district administrators, and scientists.  He co-founded First Hand Learning with Peter Dow in 1998, and was Managing Director for ten years.  He has served as President since 2009.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"We are an astounding nonprofit organization with a track record of service and collaboration at both the local and national level.  Our volunteers, customers, clients, or employees will be pleased to discuss with you any questions or suggestions that you have regarding the work that we do. 
 
Please feel free to start a conversation."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Peter B. Dow

First Hand Learning

Term: 2008 -

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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

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


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

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


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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