Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Discovery Learning Alliance

  • Silver Spring, MD
  • www.discoverylearningalliance.org

Mission Statement

Education is key to social and economic empowerment. Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA) is a non-profit charitable organization using the power of media to transform education and improve lives in developing areas. Together with public and private sector partners, we are improving student learning and teacher effectiveness in the classroom, reaching millions through mass media distribution and empowering communities with transformative educational opportunities.

Main Programs

  1. Learning Center Project
  2. Inside Story - TB
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Angola, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, Venezuela

ruling year

1999

President

Self-reported

Aric I. Noboa

Keywords

Self-reported

Education, MDG, Technology, Teacher Training, Charitable, Communities,

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Also Known As

Discovery Learning Alliance, Inc.

EIN

52-2043740

 Number

7736229758

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

Management & Technical Assistance (Q02)

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

Discovery Learning Alliance's Learning Centers reach nearly 200 communities, providing education and enrichment opportunities for more than half a million students and 1.5 million community members.
One of the most important indicators of the success of the initiative is that 80% of Learning Centers are self-sustaining beyond the training period.
Evaluation results to date have shown that the Learning Center project is having the following positive impacts.
      For students:
·         Students have more positive attitudes about school and teachers.
·         Students have more confidence about their abilities in various subjects, including math and science.
·         Nearly all students express a high level of enjoyment of the videos and appreciation for their effectiveness.
For teachers:
·         Teachers feel they are better able to keep the interest of students and notice that their students are paying more attention in class.
·         Teachers believe they are better teachers than before the program.
·         Teachers are using more interactive teaching styles than before the program.
·         Teachers have a positive assessment of the program.
In addition, Learning Centers report:
·         Increased student enrollment
·         Increased student attendance
·         Increased pass rates
·         Increased class participation

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

Learning Center Project

Quality education is fundamental to community development and central to universal education and the Millennium Development Goals.  In collaboration with Ministries of Education and funding partners, DLA provides schools with…
 
A television and DVD player, or other appropriate technology;
Two to three years of teacher training, based on teachers’ professional development needs;
DLA’s award-winning video programming produced in collaboration with local educators.  These programs are translated into the language of instruction and mapped to the curriculum.
 
Relevant programming and extensive teacher professional development are opening doors to learning in 16 countries reaching over 1 million students.
 
Evaluations demonstrate that in participating schools…
 
Teachers show increased effectiveness in the classroom;
Students show improved cognitive skills and motivation, and enhanced language skills leading to increased pass rates and test scores;
Schools report increase enrollment, pass rates, and test scores;
Parents and community members are more involved in the school (an important catalyst for improved education outcomes).  Learning Centers are also a catalyst and venue for addressing important community issues including HIV/AIDS, the environment, teen pregnancy and malnutrition.
 
Global reach: Angola, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

Program 2

Inside Story - TB

INSIDE STORY: TB is a media-based initiative designed to educate the sub-Saharan African public about the basic science of Tuberculosis. At the center of this initiative is a unique feature-length film that brings together the best of fiction and non-fiction storytelling in order to unravel the mysteries of TB. Audiences are engaged and transported to a vibrant, inner world where hard-to-grasp science is transformed into a compelling visual reality. INSIDE STORY’s aim is to demonstrate the science of how TB works in a personal, practical, and memorable way. Misunderstanding is replaced with facts, demystifying the virus, and motivating informed health decisions.
Purpose
At the center of many of the challenges in TB prevention, treatment and education is a misunderstanding of the science. In addition, many organizations working at the community level confront significant TB message fatigue. Engaging, innovative approaches are needed.
Approach
Using state-of-the-art animation, INSIDE STORY explores the dynamic inner world of the human body, revealing the unseen world of TB. The film offers audiences an unforgettable experience – for many, a look inside the human body, and a window into how the immune system, TB, and antiretroviral therapies work.
Focus group testing in four countries found this illustrative approach useful across various levels of literacy and education.
Emerging from grassroots requests, stakeholder interviews, extensive research and focus group testing, INSIDE STORY was developed in collaboration with a diverse coalition of experts and activists. With no other African film or TV program currently focused on the basic science of TB, INSIDE STORY has a unique opportunity to powerfully answer this need and make a tremendous impact, providing stakeholders with a valuable tool to scale up education, prevention, and treatment efforts.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Young Adults (20-25 years)

Budget

$1,750,000.00

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?
    Through the use of televsion in the classroom and training of teachers in the use of media to enhance their curriculum, our goals are to increase student learning, increase teacher effectiveness and increase parent and community engagement in the education process.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Education is fundamental to better health, economic opportunity, gender equity and life expectancy. Yet despite gains in enrollment, quality education remains elusive for many. Significant barriers still prevent students from attending, succeeding and advancing in school. And even where enrollment is increasing, it does not always mean students are learning as they should.

    Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA) has been improving education in schools in over nine countries for the past 18 years. Our innovative “Learning Center" model combines televisions and DVD players, exciting video content, and comprehensive teacher training and community engagement. This proven, scalable model is strengthening teacher skills and increasing learning outcomes in underserved communities in the developing world.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    DLA uses the power of media to transform education and improve lives in the developing world. Founded by Discovery Communications in 1997 as an independent nonprofit organization, DLA works closely with Ministries of Education, bringing together public and private sector partners to improve education in underserved communities. As DLA's founding sponsor, Discovery provides core operational support, production expertise, and its vast media library to help create DLA's award-winning video programs, which are produced in collaboration with educators. DLA has now established 463 school-based Learning Centers in 16 countries.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Documented success in hundreds of schools, tangible commitments from ministries of education, and enthusiastic feedback from countless teachers, students, and community members uniquely positions DLA to make a significant contribution to improving educational outcomes for students.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    DLA's Learning Center project works in under-resourced schools with the following goals:
    • increasing student learning
    • improving teacher effectiveness
    • increasing the community's involvement in schools
    In order to assess changes in teaching and learning as a result of DLA's intervention, the following steps are taken:
    1. We employ a comprehensive evaluation plan aimed at gauging program effect on both students and teachers.

    2. The methodology utilized is rigorous, making use of baseline and follow-up surveys one year later that ask many of the same questions to the same students and teachers. An analysis is made of the change in answers.

    3. The student and teacher assessments are focused on attitudinal changes. The hypothesis that is tested is that students in under-resourced schools who experience a noteworthy increase in school resources will positively change their attitudes toward school and their own capabilities.

    4. Where possible, learning outcomes are assessed by comparing national examination results in each school against results from previous years, and in some cases, against results in control schools.

    5. Project output is collected on an ongoing basis, including number of participating schools, students reached, number of teachers trained, school enrollment, etc.

    Results to date
    The evaluations completed thus far have shown that the Learning Center project is meeting its goals, by having the following positive impacts:
    For students:

    • Students have more positive attitudes about school and teachers.
    • Four out of five students with negative self-assessments in the areas of math, science, and the ability to read, understand and speak English, report improvements as a result of the DLA program.

    • 99% of students surveyed after one year of the project completely or mostly agreed that the videos had helped them understand some topics.

    • Schools report enrollment increases of up to 50% as a result of the project.

    For teachers:
    • About 70% of teachers surveyed feel they are better able to keep the interest of students and notice that their students are paying more attention in class.

    • Teachers believe they are better teachers than before the program.

    • Teachers are using more interactive teaching styles than before the program.

    • Teachers have a positive assessment of the program.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Angola, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, Venezuela

Social Media

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

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

DISCOVERY LEARNING ALLIANCE, INC.
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Discovery Learning Alliance

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President

Aric I. Noboa

BIO

Aric Noboa is responsible for the vision, growth, and management of Discovery Learning Alliance, a nonprofit organization using the power of television to transform education and improve lives in under-served communities around the world. 
 
Together with various production teams, Noboa has been honored with over 30 industry awards including the New York Festivals, Promax, CINE, Telly, and Freddy Awards.  For his work developing a feature film about the science of HIV, Noboa was invited to join the St. George's House Windsor Castle Leadership Initiative on HIV/AIDS, a gathering of 30 social entrepreneurs from Africa, Europe, and the U.S.
 
After graduating from James Madison University, Noboa became a Congressional staffer to a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  His speech writing and legislative work focused on education, the environment, commerce, and the political status of U.S. territories.  Noboa left his position as Senior Legislative Assistant to work on a hospital ship in Benin, West Africa, where he led a community health education team working in rural areas throughout the country. 
 
Returning to the U.S. to pursue documentary film and television, Noboa managed post production for two of Discovery's international networks.  He then relocated to South Africa to develop production strategies and mechanisms for the Alliance and eventually became the organization's Executive Producer. 
 
Noboa is now based at Discovery Communication's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Willard Freeman

Freeman Group

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?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan