Educational Institutions

Reach the World Company

  • New York, NY
  • www.reachtheworld.org

Mission Statement

Reach the World makes the benefits of travel accessible to classrooms, inspiring students to become curious, confident global citizens. Enabled by our digital platform, classrooms and college student travelers explore the world together.

Reach the World's vision is to build a pipeline of globally-competent students and educators who will succeed in and steward the 21st Century global community. RTW’s mission is to build, deploy and evaluate a set of global education and mentoring programs that engage disadvantaged students throughout the K-16 academic years. Since 1998, RTW has been a leader in the effort to ensure that all students are prepared to participate, interact and thrive in today’s global community and economy. The program is headquartered in New York City. The National Geographic Society Education Foundation named RTW a Model Program in Geography Education.

Reach the World transforms the energy of volunteer world travelers into a mentoring and teaching resource for disadvantaged youth. RTW selects and trains a corps of volunteer travelers each semester. RTW then makes one-on-one matches between these travelers and classrooms in underrepresented school, afterschool and summer school sites. Through a highly structured, Standards-based program of web-based correspondence, videoconferencing and collaborative projects, RTW students go on virtual journeys with their global mentors and expand their worldview in the process. RTW also delivers technology and curricular support via classroom assistants drawn from graduate and undergraduate programs of Education.

Most of Reach the World’s travelers are college students on academic study abroad programs. In 2009, RTW began partnering with the Institute of International Education’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to engage a select group of its study-abroad scholars as volunteer travelers and mentors for the RTW website. The Gilman Program offers awards for study abroad for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding. RTW also partners with the Fulbright Program. In the future, RTW envisions working with other college and university partners that share RTW’s commitment to community service and international exchange.

Reach the World also aims to redesign geography education for the 21st Century through its GeoGames curriculum. GeoGames is a family of geography learning games originally funded by the National Geographic Society Education Foundation and based on research by Dr. Susan Lowes at Teachers College, Columbia University. GeoGames won the Travelocity GENIP Award for Excellence in Geography Education, a national honor.

Main Programs

  1. Reach the World Full Program
  2. Reach the World Online Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Reach the World was founded and is headquartered in New York, New York. RTW provides direct services to school, afterschool and summer school sites in New York City. RTW also provides an online program to sites around the nation.

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer since 1998

Self-reported

Heather Halstead

Keywords

Self-reported

education, technology, educational technologies, instructional technologies, internet , interdisciplinary, online journey, travel, global community, global studies, global awareness, world studies, world awareness, environment, culture, Makulu, public schools, elementary school, middle school, under-resourced school, under-funded school, low-performing school, low-proficiency, literacy, math, geography, national geographic

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Also Known As

Reach the World

EIN

58-2350807

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

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

Reach the World has already affected more than 15,000 students and 600 teachers. RTW measures its impact on both teachers and students. RTW administers pre- and post-program outcome measurement instruments that look for statistically significant, positive changes in students' global competence; interviewing skills; proficiency with videoconferencing and other online tools; and self-efficacy. Through participation in RTW, ninety-seven percent of RTW students correspond with someone from another country, compared to eleven percent nationwide – a key factor in advancing geography proficiency. All RTW teachers deliver weekly instruction in foreign countries and cultures, compared to twenty-three percent nationwide.

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

Reach the World Full Program

The Reach the World Full Program is RTW's direct-service program, currently only offered to Title I sites in New York City. In the Full Program, sites get dedicated travelers for each participating teacher; regular training and professional development opportunities; a classroom assistant; and full support for videoconferencing with the travelers. This is a partially fee-based and partially grant-funded program. The fee per semester is $2,000 for full support for up to four participating teachers and their students.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

$0.00

Program 2

Reach the World Online Program

The Reach the World Online Program is available to Title I sites around the nation. In the Online Program, sites get dedicated travelers for each participating teacher; webinar-based training and professional development; and full support for videoconferencing with the travelers. This is a partially fee-based and partially grant-funded program. The fee per semester is $100 per traveler match per semester.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

$0.00

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?
    Reach the World believes that high achievement and investment in education are driven by an interdisciplinary, technology-rich curriculum – which most disadvantaged public school students are not getting. If our public education system fails to instill global competence in students, then they will be unequipped to succeed in today’s knowledge-driven, global community and economy. The kind of intervention piloted by RTW provides an essential link for students whose limited life experiences make it difficult for them to understand critical global concepts.

    In life after school, technology literacy is now a necessary skill. Current research suggests that children’s use of media at an early age is highly predictive of their media preferences later in life. When it comes to technology, however, all schools are not created equal. Under-funded public schools have a desperate need for on-site assistance integrating technology and global connectivity into the curriculums. They also need this kind of programming consistently and continuously over the key developmental years when students are forming their attitudes about education and about the world. Reach the World provides comprehensive support in this area, preparing educators to teach, and students to succeed, in a digital world.

    It is imperative that the next generation of leaders understand and can operate within the political and economic landscape of the 21st century. Through study abroad, U.S. college students gain critical experiences and perspectives - and begin to establish networks that enhance their individual prospects in today’s globalized workforce and their future potential as global problem-solvers. Reach the World amplifies the impact of U.S. college students who are studying abroad, by connecting them 1:1 with U.S. K-12 youth. These personal connections build the pipeline of globally-aware and confident youth, who will themselves one day be prepared to enter study abroad, seek globally-oriented work experiences, and steward the global community that we all share.

    Essentially, Reach the World exists to capture an existing energy that all humans share - e.g., the enthusiasm to share stories of our travels and our personal journeys - and turn this into a resource for education of all youth, in all communities. RTW is a cost-effective means to build global competence and inspire a movement of diverse youth who believe in their potential as citizens of the globe. Join RTW on our journey!
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Global literacy creates opportunities – but its absence holds students back. Reach the World (RTW) has worked for more than fifteen years to help provide disadvantaged students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in an increasingly global world. RTW’s programs transform the energy of college study-abroad travelers into online journeys that become an organizing center for experiential learning in K-12 classrooms. All RTW classrooms engage in the following activities:

    • K-12 school sites apply to participate in RTW.
    • Educators in RTW select a college student to travel with online for a semester. Educators select travelers whose majors, backgrounds, and personal interests are a close fit for their curriculums and their students’ needs.
    • RTW trains educators to map their curriculums and incorporate a “global lens.”
    • Classrooms travel online with their college study-abroad travelers for a semester. Each class receives weekly, personalized content and has opportunities to video conference. Students also plan and execute culminating projects in collaboration with their travelers.
    • All RTW classrooms participate in the GeoGames curriculum. GeoGames is a set of interactive, research-based geography learning games created by RTW, Teachers College and National Geographic.

    Through the connection with these travelers – real mentors that students come to know – deep seeds are planted. An “I can do this, too” spirit is born. RTW students come to know that college is a possibility; that there is funding to help them attend; and that study abroad is a worthy, exciting, and achievable goal that can propel them forward for the rest of their lives.

    Reach the World was founded in New York City in 1998 and serves Title I public school students in grades K-12. The demographic profile of RTW’s current student population is as follows:

    African American: 50 percent
    Hispanic: 36 percent
    White: 3 percent
    Other: 11 percent
    Eligible for Free Lunch: 81 percent
    English Language Learners: 11 percent
    Percent of Students Performing Below Standards: 19 percent


    In 2014-2015, Reach the World connected 200+ college study-abroad travelers to 5,000 youth and their educators. The average annual growth rate of the program over the last five years has been 25 percent. All RTW programs are partially fee-based; the remainder is provided by fundraising.

    Reach the World is a results-based management organization and devotes significant resources to the measurement of program outcomes. RTW measures outcomes for K-12 youth, college travelers, and corporate volunteers.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The environment for global competence enrichment has never been more favorable than it is now. Since the 1980s, American public education had been narrowly focused on Standards-driven instruction in Literacy and Math. Now that the Common Core Learning Standards have been widely adopted by most U.S. states, the pendulum has begun to swing back toward the importance of enrichment. Policy-makers are realizing that there may be a causal relationship between high dropout rates and impoverished curriculums. Major media stories run daily about how unprepared American youth are in global competence and STEM. A national campaign was just launched in January to double the number of Americans studying abroad by 2020. RTW is perfectly positioned for growth, as it is the only existing nonprofit organization that can quantify its impact on developing a diverse pipeline of K-12 for study abroad. For these reasons and more, there is a bright horizon of opportunity for a Reach the World.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Reach the World is a results-based management organization. On an annual basis, RTW administers pre- and post-program outcome measurement instruments that look for statistically significant, positive changes in students' global competence; interviewing skills; proficiency with videoconferencing and other online tools; and self-efficacy. Through participation in RTW, ninety-seven percent of RTW students correspond with someone from another country, compared to eleven percent nationwide – a key factor in advancing geography proficiency. All RTW teachers deliver weekly instruction in foreign countries and cultures, compared to twenty-three percent nationwide.

    Reach the World has aggressive goals for expansion of its programs. From 2009-2014, RTW engaged in a five-year strategic plan to engage a group of volunteers - college study-abroad travelers - as its source of content, and also to diversify the age groups served by the program. This successful plan concluded with a new organizational model based upon a large volunteer base and a K-12 arc of programming. From 2015-2020, RTW will be a key player in the Generation Study Abroad campaign (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Generation-Study-Abroad), which aims to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad by 2020 to nearly 600,000. RTW will know that is has been successful when its programs drive a higher percentage of diverse youth to undertake study abroad, as part of this nationwide campaign. This success indicator will be measured by a longitudinal study of RTW participants, tracking them from high school into college.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Reach the World was founded at the dawn of the Internet age when Heather Halstead, its founder, saw the potential for the Internet to connect classrooms to travelers. For ten years, RTW ran demonstration projects based on this concept, and proved that global journeys not only could reach K-12 classrooms via the Internet, but also could change students' mindsets and world views as a result. In 2009, technology had matured to the point where RTW no longer needed to operate its own demonstration projects. Technologies such as VOIP video conferencing and CMS websites allowed RTW to shift to a volunteer base for its traveler voices. Selecting college study abroad travelers as its first target, RTW has found tremendous success in transforming the energy of these volunteers into a resource for K-12 education. Now that RTW has completed these two arcs, it is time for the organization to expand from its home base in New York City, where it is an established vendor, to a nationwide footprint.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Reach the World was founded and is headquartered in New York, New York. RTW provides direct services to school, afterschool and summer school sites in New York City. RTW also provides an online program to sites around the nation.

Social Media

Funding Needs

All of Reach the World's global education programming is partially fee-based and partially grant-funded. RTW exclusively serves Title I sites whose missions match our mission to ensure that all students graduate from school as competent, caring global citizens who will succeed in and steward our global community.   By contributing to Reach the World, donors can make an immediate impact upon young students' education by enriching the curriculum with real-time, interactive, global studies materials. RTW's programs inspire students to develop a connection to the broader world and to one day become successful global citizens themselves.

Videos

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External Reviews

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Financials

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

Reach the World Company
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.

Reach the World Company

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

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

Heather Halstead

BIO

Heather Halstead was born and raised in Manhattan, New York. She attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1997 with a BA in History and minors in Education and Environmental Studies. Ms. Halstead founded Reach the World upon her graduation from college and has been its chief executive since that time.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"By connecting their classrooms with college study-abroad students via www.ReachtheWorld.org, educators help their students expand their worldview, skills and goals. Classrooms connect with travelers whose majors, backgrounds and personal interests are a close fit for their curriculums. Each RTW class receives weekly, personalized content and has multiple opportunities to video-conference with their traveler.

Global literacy creates opportunities – but its absence holds students back. Through Reach the World’s global programs, deep and real seeds are planted. An "I can do this, too" spirit is born. RTW students come to know that college is a given; that there is funding to help them attend; and that study abroad is a worthy, exciting and achievable goal that can propel them forward for the rest of their lives.
"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Pat Hedley

General Atlantic

Term: Sept 2015 - Sept 2016

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
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Volunteers.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members and Volunteers.

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)
Yes
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity