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Tuesday
Jul012014

Academic Distinction Fund Distinguished Speaker Series To Feature Expert on Impact of Technology on Young Children; Thursday, September 18, at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE – The Academic Distinction Fund (ADF) will host an expert on technology in relation to early childhood education at its upcoming Distinguished Speaker Series. The free community event will feature Lisa Guernsey, author, journalist, and early education advocate, speaking about the science of technology and its effect on children’s learning.

The lecture is open to teachers, parents, child care educators, business leaders, school administrators, and others interested in the impact of the use of technology on early childhood education.

The event will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Ave. The presentation, “Learning to Read in the Digital Age,” is supported by Guernsey’s extensive research in the areas of screen time and early childhood education. The presentation will also feature a preview of Guernsey’s newest project that examines how parents, teachers and literacy experts are rethinking technology to help children learn to read in a digital age.

Guernsey’s most recent publications include a book titled Screen Time: How Electronic Media From Baby Videos to Educational Software - Affects Your Young Child, and an article about eBooks in the School Library Journal, which won an Eddie award in 2012 (Basic Books, 2012).

Guernsey is a journalist by training. She writes articles on technology and education for The New York Times and the Chronicle for Higher Education as well as several other national publications including Newsweek, Time, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Guernsey also occasionally blogs at the Huffington Post and is active on Twitter (@LisaGuernsey).

Serving as the Director of the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative, Guernsey specializes in elevating dialogue about early education in part by editing the Early Education Watch blog, and looking for new ways to help high-risk children succeed.

ADF is a major collaborator among schools, businesses and the community and acts as a catalyst for private sector leadership in advancing public education in East Baton Rouge Public School System (EBRPSS).

The ADF Distinguished Speaker Series offers research-based presentations by early childhood experts, providing critical information on the latest early childhood development research and best practices.  The first of its kind in East Baton Rouge Parish, the series addresses what it takes for young children to be successful in kindergarten and first grade, regardless of their socio-economic and racial backgrounds.  The series is directed to education stakeholders, non-profit organizations, public officials, East Baton Rouge Parish teachers, pre-K providers and administrators, parents and families, and corporate leaders who ultimately impact all young children in Louisiana.

Funding for ADF Distinguished Speaker Series comes from ADF and ExxonMobil. Additional sponsors include Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation, the Boo Grigsby Foundation and Turner Industries. Planning partners include School Aids, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, School Aids, Family Behavioral Health Center, Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and the EBRPSS Title I Parental Involvement Office.

The program is free and open to the public. Check-in is from 4 to 4:30 p.m. and the presentation is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Pre-registration is highly recommended. Please email abby.thevenot@adfbr.org or call 225.293.3345 to register for the free community education event.

Wednesday
Jun112014

Take the Lead for Our Kids adult prom provides a night full of fun and entertainment while supporting ADF and EBRPSS

Prom Queen Bobbie RobertsonBATON ROUGE – The Academic Distinction Fund hosted its signature annual fundraising event, Take the Lead, on June 7 at the Team Automotive Group Sportsplex. The adult prom provided a fun-filled night of memories reminiscent of one’s high school years while also giving back to the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, raising money to support early childhood education and supporting ADF’s various educational programs. Prom Night featured a crowning of the prom king and queen, live dance entertainment, silent and live auctions and remarks by Mayor Holden’s office.

Prom Night court presented prom queen Bobbie Robertson, EBRPSS pre-k director, and prom king Rob Bergeron, education advocate. Both candidates were honored to support ADF and EBR Parish schools.

Contributing sponsors were CB&I, Eustis Insurance & Benefits, Regions bank, ExxonMobil, and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.

Additional contributions and donations were made by Hopkins Black Box Theater, EBR Parish School Board, Southern University, Bennett Auctions, The Flower Basket, Forte & Tablada, School Aids, Graphic Arts, and Event Rental. Live auction donations included a two-night stay in the Cotton Mill Condo located in the New Orleans Warehouse District, a live painting by Julien Troullier, a framed Drew Brees Blue Dog print, a two-night stay at the Bluff’s Golf Resort and four rounds of golf with a $100 restaurant voucher, and football tickets to the LSU vs. Ole Miss game. Silent Auction items came from various donors throughout Baton Rouge.

Food and refreshments were provided by Kona Grill, P.F. Chang’s, Q Bin Liquor, Room for Dessert, The Pelican House, “Thee” Heavenly Donut, Three Bones Catering, Nothing Bundt Cakes and the Baton Rouge Coca Cola Bottling Co.

Media sponsors featured Cox, 96.1 The River, WBRZ, WAFB, Lamar Advertising, Around Town TV Show and the Baton Rouge Parents magazine. The Wise Guys band entertained guests throughout the night with live music. 

Thursday
May292014

Academic Distinction Fund Unveils New, Signature Fundraising Event for 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Academic Distinction Fund (ADF) will host a new signature fundraising event for 2014. “Take the Lead for Our Kids” will be held on Saturday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at the Team Automotive Sportsplex located at 7122 Perkins Road in Baton Rouge.

 This event benefits pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade students by supporting ADF's numerous educational programs. ADF promotes academic achievement for all students, encourages best practices in education, supports teachers in their work and professional growth, and fosters improved teaching and learning in public schools. To date, ADF has awarded over $2.4 million in grants to local teachers and schools, worked with more than 3,000 teachers, and impacted more than 10,000 students per year in grades Pre-K through grade 12.

 "Take the Lead for Our Kids" is a new event for the non-profit organization. It is designed to replicate a prom night, highlighted by the announcement of court members, and of course, a king and queen. The event will include live music, live and silent auctions, dance entertainment and more. ADF aims to provide supporters with a unique evening reminiscent of one's high school years, while raising money for early education in East Baton Rouge Parish.

 “By supporting this event, ADF will continue to offer high quality resources, materials and professional development to early education in Baton Rouge public schools,” said Martis Jones, Ph.D., ADF Executive Director. "We want to strengthen and enhance our funding to focus on giving children a strong start on through to their success in college and careers."

 Tickets are $100 per person, or $50 for current teachers and graduate students.  Tickets can be purchased at www.adfbr.org.

 Please contact Brandi Monjure at 225-308-9475 or info@backbeatproductionsllc.com for more information or to schedule an interview about this fundraiser.

 

Thursday
Apr032014

Anne Henderson: High Impact Strategies to Engage Families and Community in Early Childhood Programs


 

Monday
Mar242014

ADF's Executive Director Writes to the Editor of The Advocate in Baton Rouge

Quality early education has proven economic benefit for community

Letter to the Editor of The Advocate:

We read more and more about “the Jindal administration’s highly touted overhaul of Louisiana’s fractured prekindergarten system” and Superintendent Bernard Taylor’s priority, prekindergarten in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. After hearing these lofty visions for our youngest citizens, elected officials then ask, “How are we going to get the money for prekindergarten?” and “How can we implement higher standards without the necessary funds?”

Delaying answers also delays real work needed to create sufficient quality and intensity in program delivery for prekindergarten.

Education advocates, scholars, and economists continue to report substantial economic benefits from high-quality early education. The results show long-term payoffs including higher graduation rates, reduced need for special education and reduced violent crime and arrests. A few of the many long-term economic returns include increased parental employment with overall increased earned income and increased human capital and productivity (Dr. Steven Barnett, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2014). These public gains align closely with longitudinal research by Perry Preschool Education, National Institute for Early Education Research, Abecedarian (30-year study), and Chicago Longitudinal Study. Many of the prekindergarten children in these studies mirror those in EBR public schools — at risk and on free or reduced school food programs. The evidence is clear: Investing in high-quality prekindergarten pays good return on investment. Today’s research shows every dollar invested in high-quality prekindergarten returns an average of $7 to $8. If a stock broker brought this kind of return, few would turn it down.

Yet, educators and elected officials still say, “We can’t afford this.” It is obvious, we can’t afford not to do it. In addition to state and local funding, investments from the private sector would help complete the funding pie for prekindergarten. Such public-private partnerships would achieve high-quality prekindergarten with better trained teachers, excellent school facilities and world-class curriculum materials.

Corporate Baton Rouge and nonprofit organizations, such as ExxonMobil and the Academic Distinction Fund, invest in prekindergarten. ExxonMobil is funding math and science and supports ADF’s distinguished presentations by national speakers.

It is time for other corporations to join state and local efforts to match the vision of high-quality prekindergarten with adequate funding and the expectation of a good return on investment.

It takes several villages to raise a child. Today, it takes the private sector partnering with public entities so our youngest citizens start school healthy and ready to learn.

Dr. Martis Jones

Executive Director

Academic Distinction Fund

Baton Rouge

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