December 22, 2017
Dear SRI Community,
As the year soon comes to a close, I want to end it by thanking you for your commitment to students, to teaching and learning, and for your ongoing support of SRI. Our system of education is far, far, from perfect and in many ways, is designed to keep certain students and communities from achieving. However, many of the individuals I meet are actively working against those systems, in any way they can. The thread we follow is unchanging – we care about students, and even though the world often feels like it is working against us, the thread of our work never changes.
The SRI affiliates I talk with genuinely care about the students and communities they serve, and recognize that schools as they currently exist need to improve so that all students have the chance to succeed. Our affiliates are passionate about making such change. Loving and caring about all students is at the center of where we start. My goal for 2018 is to help educators remember why they became educators, and to do whatever we can to not only help them to ‘feel’ supported, but to actually ‘be’ supported, and work together to create the schools our students deserve. I hope you will join me and continue to support SRI!
We have much to celebrate as we close out 2017. With your help and generosity, we were able to:
- Host our first Fall Meeting in Atlanta with educators from around the country joining together in collaborative and reflective learning groups.
- Provide over 40 scholarships for educators to attend SRI learning events including Fall Meeting and summer seminar sessions.
- Serve over 800 affiliates. Affiliate with SRI
- Average over 6000 website visitors each month, where people can freely access our protocols, research, blog and other tools.
- Launch a new website with a new look and add functionality in September.
- Launch our story-telling app SRI Voices
- Add our pilot ‘Protocols for Youth Engagement’ to the website.
- Host several online learning events including ‘Leading for Equity.’
- Support a number of like-minded organizations including COSEBOC, Teach to Lead (US Dept of Education), The White Privilege Conference, and more.
2018 brings even more opportunity for SRI’s growth through affiliate engagement and education. We have amazing affiliate volunteers in our community who are helping SRI board and staff by joining us in our many ongoing and upcoming initiatives including:
- Our Annual Fall Meeting in San Antonio, November 8-10, 2018.
- Our Annual Facilitator Retreats – this year in 4 locations in Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
- Expand our affiliate base – can you help us add more people in your state?
- Continue to refine the SRI website, adding new tools and resources including videos.
- Additional national seminars and workshops designed to continue to support the growth of facilitators, particularly around educational equity and excellence.
- An unending commitment to supporting educators, particularly classroom teachers, to empower them and help them change the system of education to serve all students!
A new year brings hope and possibility. People are amazing and when they collaborate and work together, phenomenal things can happen. I strongly believe in the power of individuals to change the world and am excited to continue to provide tools and resources for others who are working to do the same! Our individual voices are essential, and my hope is that our collective voices can help move mountains.
I invite you to support SRI so that together we can continue to do good work in service of students. There are several ways to support SRI:
- Donate a tax-deductible financial gift. As a nonprofit, we are primarily supported through grants and individual donations. Your financial gift provides the funding that we need to implement and support our multiple initiatives. A financial gift of any size is extremely importing in helping us sustain ourselves as an organization.
- Become an affiliate. Affiliating is a yearly process, and demonstrates your commitment to SRI and the work we do to support educators throughout the world. There is no financial commitment, and the process is quick and easy.
- Share SRI with your friends, families and colleagues. Help us expand our circle of supporters by sharing the work of SRI and explaining how this work has made an impact on your life. Ask your friends and families to follow us on Facebook, join the mailing list, and enter into the conversation about school transformation – this is a conversation for everyone, not just educators.
- Share your SRI stories in our SRI Voices App
- Keep working in ways that lead towards the creation of a culture of collaborative and reflective practice. Have challenging conversations, hold one another accountable, be brave by deprivatizing your practice, and work daily to reflect and collaborate in service of students.
I am filled with hope for 2018, and a renewed commitment to stand for children even in the face of overwhelming odds. SRI is fiercely committed to educational equity and excellence, and we cannot do this work without your support!
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to students, families and communities. And thank you for joining us on the journey to change the world!
With deep gratitude,
School Reform Initiative
PS – Don’t forget to share this with your friends, families and colleagues! Help us grow and sustain SRI. We cannot do this without you!