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Frankford High School Recipient of AT&T Aspire Connect to Success Award!

Frankford High School Recipient of AT&T Aspire Connect to Success Award!

October 14, 2016

20161014_tds_attaspirectg_frankfordhs015Ninth-graders at Frankford High School will get more help staying on track for graduation and preparing for their futures with assistance from Diplomas Now, a proven model that puts students on a path to graduation, which received a $500,000 contribution from AT&T.

AT&T’s contribution to Diplomas Now was the focus of a special event today at Frankford High School, featuring Mayor Jim Kenney; Otis Hackney, Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer; City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, Philadelphia School District officials and program representatives – all of whom have a shared commitment to helping more Philadelphia students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

With the $500,000 contribution, Diplomas Now is launching at Frankford High this school year. Operating in dozens of schools nationwide, Diplomas Now is a partnership of three respected national nonprofits: Talent Development Secondary at Johns Hopkins University, City Year and Communities In Schools, which bring caring adults to schools to provide teacher coaching, tutoring, mentoring and other student support.

20161014_tds_attaspirectg_frankfordhs003Diplomas Now was selected as one of 18 recipients nationwide that will share in $10 million from AT&T through the Aspire Connect to Success Competition. Hundreds of organizations applied to the competition, which is part of AT&T Aspire, our signature philanthropic initiative to help students succeed in school and beyond.

Aspire Connect to Success funding recipients deliver integrated student supports, focus on college or career preparation, and/or provide mentoring or peer-to-peer supports to help underserved students graduate.

Through a competitive request for proposal process, the 18 non-profits, including Diplomas Now, were selected based on their effectiveness in helping students graduate ready for career or college. Selected programs use evidence-based approaches to serve students and are able to demonstrate quantitative results.

20161014_tds_attaspirectg_frankfordhs006“Young people need a high school diploma to stay on track for college and career success. And our company’s future, as well as the country’s, is dependent on today’s young people. Through Aspire, we support programs that invest in students, especially those who need it the most, so they can walk across the graduation stage ready for their future,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic. “It’s great to see so many Philadelphia groups and leaders, working so hard to create brighter futures for children in this great city.”

Diplomas Now is based on research by one of the nation’s leading dropout experts who found that a sixth-grader who fails math or English, had poor attendance or poor behavior had a 75 percent chance of dropping out of school. Diplomas Now uses an early-warning system to identify those students early and works to eliminate their problems. In June, a major independent evaluation found that Diplomas Now does reduce those early warning signs among sixth- and ninth-graders, putting more students on track to graduate.

20161014_tds_attaspirectg_frankfordhs023“We know that in our most challenged schools serving the most vulnerable learners, it is critical to create effective organizational structures and support instructional practices, while also providing students the supports they need in real-time – at sufficient scale and intensity. With our unique Diplomas Now partnership, building on our Talent Development Secondary model with City Year AmeriCorps Members and Communities In Schools case managers, we are able to embark on this great journey together over the next two years in partnership with the Frankford High School leadership, the school district of Philadelphia and our generous friends at AT&T,” said Dr. Robert Balfanz, senior research professor at Johns Hopkins University and principal investigator of Diplomas Now.


“Diplomas Now” Program
ABC 6, Oct. 14, 2016
A new program launched Friday at one Philadelphia school and it aims to boost graduation rates… read more.

Rethinking high-poverty schools: An interview with Dr. Robert Balfanz
NewsWorks, Oct. 14, 2016
The freshman class at Frankford High School in Northeast Philadelphia faces long odds. But on Friday they might have gotten at least a little better… read more.