In October 2012, GRREC and OVEC submitted an application to the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top – District competition. Out of 372 applications, GRREC’s and OVEC’s proposal was named as one of 61 finalists. On December 11, 2012, US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan announced 16 grantees for the competition. GRREC’s and OVEC’s proposal—kid-FRIENDLy (Kids Focused, Responsible, Imaginative, Engaged and Determined to Learn)—was one of the winning applications. The grant award is $41 million.
Every day, students arrive at the schoolhouse because tradition says they should. The brick-and mortar schoolhouse is where learning takes place. But what if students arrived at school not because they have to, but because they have a clear and personal purpose – a distinct reason for learning? What if we could instill in kids of all ages the responsibility to determine just what that purpose might be? What if we helped the 6- and 16-year-old arrive every morning to learn more about being a fireman? A chef? A rap artist? And what if we embraced that sense of purpose and possibility throughout every school, helping every student believe in his/her own ability to learn?
That is our vision: To create at every level of the educational system a shift from teacher-led instruction to competency-based, kid friendly learning; we will not only eliminate the “when will I ever use this” mentality but systematically lead students in our high-poverty, rural and small-town schools from PreK to career and college readiness.