Our goal is just to help: how Adopt A School evolved as we went in deeper

kids-robotics

I have talked before about how our intention going into PS119 was to go in, listen and help, whatever that meant. And that’s why a few weeks back, I said our program does not have an exact perfect plan, it’s a dynamic partnership where things change as we adapt to what we learn. With that in mind here is a  timeline of events that have unfolded so far, and how things changed as we went in deeper:

  • Jan 2015: Surveyed NxJumpers
    (1) Childrens Education + (2) Childrens Health emerged as the top 2 areas our employees cared most about. As a result we targeted adopting a school as part of our giving initiatives.
  • What’s the Plan? What’s the Budget? People asked us those 2 questions constantly. Our answers were:
    (A) The Plan is To Help + (B) The Budget is a Better Me + Better You budget, to grow ourselves and help others in the process
  • July 2015: After spending a few months talking to schools, principals and superintendents we ended up with 9 schools in a selection process. We fell in love with PS119 in the South Bronx, felt most aligned with our culture
  • We went in with an initial goal of sharing our best practices, coaching and mentoring teachers and the administration team.
  • Aug 2015: We learned there is a bigger need: the After School Program closed 2 years ago and that’s preventing many parents from holding jobs as they have to pick up kids every day at 2:45 pm. After a quick internal deliberation Next Jump makes the decision to reopen the After School Program (funding: $300K,  212 kids accepted)
  • Sept 2015: We don’t want to just write a check, we want to be involved and be a part of the school. On Thursdays we develop and run the curriculum for the After School Program. Alternating groups of Next Jump employees travel every week to the school to teach. Every employee teaches once a month on average. Here are our tracks:
    (1) Robotics (the picture in this article is of our robotics track, kids learning to build and control robots)
    (2) Coding
    (3) Health &Wellness
    (4) Business Skills
  • Nov 2015: We learn a Professional Development Day is coming up for staff & teachers, we invite the principal to host at Next Jump. We prepare and run the full day with talks, presentations, health advice, all by Next Jump employees.
  • Jan 2016: TOP 5 recognition, a Next Jump program, is adopted by PS119 for their staff and teachers to increase “helping each other succeed”. Recognizing servant leadership.
  • Jan 2016: monthly Principal & AP coaching sessions begin
  • Jan 2016: We decide our UK office will adopt a school in London, budget: another $300k. Their selection process kicks off.
  • Feb 2016: monthly tech help, we start arriving at the school 1 hour sooner every Thursday so that we can spend it with the principal and her team and help with technical and computer system problems, little things to help increase efficiency.
  • March 2016: Student Field Trip scheduled, we plan on having kids visit the Next Jump offices for a career day, to inspire and show them many things they can become if their set their own sights on it.
  • May 2016: PS119 Avengers Award, this will be a ceremony to recognize the top servant leader at the school. Nice surprises will go along that I will not reveal just yet.
  • Summer 2016: Peter Hallock Next Jump internship. Peter has been awesome, the biggest supporter of our program, working tirelessly with us. We are excited that he will be working closely with us over the summer.
  • Volunteer Tracking APP [BM + BY], we are going to build an app to help track employee volunteering time.
  • Fall 2016 (plans): We have some exciting things in the works which I will not disclose yet :)!

 

That is the Next Jump way. We learn as we go, and we adapt to help.

Albert

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