In the ‘Day in the Life’ series, we’ll showcase the work of our current fellows, their projects, and how they are fighting poverty. This post features Ana Kearney, who is serving as the Schoolyear Program Manager at Springboard Collaborative. 

Springboard Collaborative is an education nonprofit that works to close the reading achievement gap by coaching teachers, training families, and cultivating students’ reading habits. Our main offering is a summer program that prevents the summer slide. Students come to Springboard for five weeks and work with their own teachers to strengthen their reading skills. On average, in this five week period, students make a three-month reading gain with the support of their families. Families attend a workshop once a week that goes over tips that they can use to support their child in the home.

I am currently working on a pilot program called Springboard Schoolyear. This program, often thought as an “on ramp” to a child’s education, extends over the whole school year for kindergarten students. The main aspects of the program are the same as Summer but with a less intensive approach. Schoolyear cultivates a family’s reading habits early to ensure that a student has a strong foundation for their educational. Teachers are trained to work with families to devise plans to help the students with their reading struggles. We are currently programming in five neighborhood public schools serving about 150 students.

Springboard Collaborative attended the Yale School of Management Education Leadership Conference this year in the beginning of April (pictured above) to meet potential new hires for this summer as well as to learn more about what is happening in the education world. We had table in the Networking Expo and spoke to many different people about our work. I had the pleasure of attending a few sessions like “Beyond the Binary: Gender Identity Activism in Schools” and “Education as Rehabilitation: New Models of Prisoner Education”. I felt very fortunate to be able to attend the ELC. I was able to learn about what the leaders in the world of education are focused on as well as gain experience networking and talking about my organization.

This summer, Springboard is making a big expansion! Last summer we were in three cities: Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Oakland, but this year we will be in three more: San Francisco, San Jose, and New York! With such a big growth, everyone is busy across the country, and our staff has just grown by two to support all of our initiatives. As everyone is gearing up for Summer, I am focused on wrapping up Schoolyear. After I am finished with Schoolyear in June, my year of service ends in July and I am on the job hunt! I am currently still thinking through what I would like to do next year; there are so many things I am interested in! Wherever I land, I know that I have learned a lot from my time with Springboard.