A variety of strong partnerships are critical for ensuring student success when working with a large population of diverse learners. As One World Education looked to expand its program footprint within and beyond Washington, DC, I joined the organization in June of 2016 as its first Director of Partnerships. In this role, I manage the establishment of new partnerships, lead program reporting, and expand existing partnerships so that our educator team can solely focus on our programming, which impacts more than 6,000 students in 25 DC public and charter schools.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
- Helen Keller
The foundation of our partnerships was encapsulated well last April at our annual College & Career Senior Challenge in a memorable keynote address by former DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson. In her remarks, Chancellor Henderson stated “We are DCPS, we can do this, but we can’t do it alone.” She then highlighted the importance of the district’s external partnerships, and that organizations such as One World Education “make the curriculum come alive” for our students.
Like DCPS, we at One World Education can’t do it alone either. First and foremost, our long-standing partnerships with DCPS and various DC public charter schools, nurtured by their belief in our approach to improving writing outcomes, undergird the very existence of our work. On the ground, our gifted team of teacher-leaders helps refine our curriculum and facilitate meaningful professional development sessions, impacting the 125 classroom teachers who directly implement programming and spark students’ passion for learning.
Several nonprofit and higher education collaborations play a significant role in classroom successes. Most notably, the expertise of World Bank education researchers and American University writing professors allows us to effectively assess student achievement and provide schools with individualized evaluation reports.
Finally, our extensive network of funders, ranging from governmental sources such as the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, to private family foundations, including The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, and the The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, ensures that we serve as many students as possible each year and with the greatest impact.
Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” As we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year and look forward to what will be accomplished in the upcoming decade, we know that vibrant partnerships, both existing and future ones, are a key element in facilitating student success here in DC and across the country.