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08/24/2011

GreatSchools Selects Fairfield County, Connecticut as First Community Partner in Parent Engagement Initiative

Groundbreaking digital media program for parents will be offered by select organizations committed to improving K-5 student achievement

San Francisco, CA – August 24, 2011 – GreatSchools, a national education technology innovator, has chosen Fairfield County, Connecticut as its first community-level partner to develop College Bound, its new online media parent engagement program. College Bound's mission is to give parents the support and tools to improve their children’s academic achievement in the primary school years. This fall, Phase I of College Bound will be offered by a select group of Fairfield County distribution partners, including Danbury Children First, Bridgeport Public Schools, Achievement First, Danbury Public Schools, the Carver Center, Stamford Public Schools, and Domus. In addition, GreatSchools is working with the Fairfield County Community Foundation to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the program.

In its recommendations on how to narrow the state’s achievement gap, the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement (July 2011) called for “creative ways to involve parents” in setting high educational expectations for their children. To that end, College Bound offers online video and other new media tools to help parents guide their children towards academic excellence. College Bound also provides research-based guidance to help parents cultivate essential skills – such as persistence and motivation – that are key to a child's academic success.


“We are excited about the opportunity to help Fairfield County families get what we all want for our children:  the best chance possible to succeed in school and life. That is what College Bound is all about. By using high-impact, research-based content and delivering it in a simple and accessible way, College Bound helps parents become strong champions of their children’s education,” said Bill Jackson, CEO and founder of GreatSchools.


College Bound's animated videos covering core academic and behavioral topics help parents tackle a wide range of challenging everyday issues, including how to help with homework, deal with school bullies, and develop time management skills.  Feedback from parents nationwide who have completed College Bound indicate that the program teaches the skills and gives them the confidence to better support their children’s educational development. One parent recently remarked, “I’m a better parent because of College Bound.”


 “College Bound changes everything," says Novelette Peterkin, Executive Director of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk. "It’s just what our hard-working parents need to help them be effective advocates for their children. That GreatSchools chose Carver to participate in this national pilot program is a boon to our parents and youth.”


Says Reshma Singh, Connecticut Vice President of External Relations, at Achievement First, “Achievement First public charter schools have proven that parents and families of Fairfield County harbor the will and desire to increase student achievement. Just this past academic year we saw over 50 percent of the school’s parents attend Parent Reading Night at AF Bridgeport Academy Elementary, where 80 percent of this school’s families qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. I believe that College Bound will be highly valuable for these parents and we look forward to offering it to them.”  

About GreatSchools
GreatSchools is a national nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and guide parents to be effective champions of their children's education at home and in their communities.  Founded in 1998, GreatSchools reaches close to 40M people each year through its flagship website, GreatSchools.org, and through its e-learning resources and local programs. For more information, visit greatschools.org.

Media Contact:
Kristan Kirsh
GreatSchools
415-983-3863

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