April 2018 Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

April

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April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month! On behalf of APIE, the classrooms we assist, and the students we serve, thank you for all that you do. Read below for an insider’s perspective about the life of a volunteer, information about one of our cherished donors, and to see this year’s APIE Champions!

Quick Bites of APIE |A Few Words About Volunteering

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“Here’s to all volunteers – those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay.” – Robert Orben
“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington
“Volunteering is doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” – Ivan Scheier

Volunteer Spotlight | Allie Kane

Allie Kane is one of our incredible Math Classroom Coaches. Along with tutoring with APIE, Allie is a senior at UT Austin, where she studies Biochemistry and is very involved on campus. Allie shares her experience as a volunteer in the interview below!

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Math Classroom Coach and UT Senior, Allie Kane

What inspired you to be a volunteer?  

I love teaching. I’m a mentor for incoming freshmen for an organization called FIG, a First Year Interest Group, for science majors at UT Austin. It’s a group of about 25 students where I give some tips and tricks about becoming a college student. It’s a great way to set them up with connections and gives them resources fresh into college. I enjoy being their cheerleader.

Along with my work with FIG students, I’m a teaching assistant for a research lab. I love science, so I love the teaching aspect of Math Classroom Coaching. Students have a combination of different experience levels. I enjoy explaining difficult concepts. Coming up with new ways to explain lessons so that every student can understand is fun for me. The overlap of my interests for STEM and volunteering fit really well with APIE. It’s given me a very much necessary relief from stress from school, too. I walk in and I’m like, this is great, I get to help students learn.

What’s one of your favorite stories about the kids you work with and a specific coaching experience?

Recently we had extra time at the end of class and the students chose to work on problems they didn’t have to work on. The students are willing to learn. They wanted to do more than what the teacher was asking. It made me feel useful!

What challenges have you been met with?

In the first three weeks, the students were still getting used to me. I was finding out who was strong in certain areas and what their learning styles were. For instance, I could have a student who is at the top of her class, and then I could have a couple others who are less confident in their math abilities. My primary challenge is finding a balance and being able to cater to each student’s needs, even if they’re at different levels of understanding from one another.

Sometimes I feel I didn’t explain the material the best way I could, but most of the time the experience is very positive. I’ve also noticed I’m closer to them in age than their teacher. They’ll open up to me about their personal lives or a boy situation, which is great, so I usually save three minutes towards the ends of class to talk with them after we’ve done the math.

Has this experience influenced your interests as you think about a career/community involvement after college?

APIE is a great overlap of my interests. Working with kids and promoting STEM education is something that is important to me. My goal is to become an ER Physician. I hope to take some time in between graduating from college and medical school to work in the community, too.

Why should someone volunteer as a Classroom Coach?

My first reason for becoming a Math Classroom Coach is community outreach. I grew up having a very privileged life, and giving back was a huge value my grandparents instilled in me. Volunteering as a Classroom Coach is a great way to get involved and get to know your community members.

Second, being a Classroom Coach also challenges my math skills. It encourages me to revisit subjects I’ve learned about before, like scatter plots. I really like that.

Lastly, volunteering with APIE is super rewarding. It feels like a breath of fresh air every time I walk out of class. I immediately feel that I’ve made an impact on the kids. It’s super gratifying!


Donor Spotlight | Outdoor Voices

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EDUCATION IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT

Special thanks to Outdoor Voices! The Austin-based fitness retailer generously sponsored APIE’s 2018 Austin Marathon team and provided fantastic race day volunteers at the APIE water stop.

The company describes its unique culture and philosophy as follows:

“At Outdoor Voices, our goal is to inspire more people to be active on a daily basis. We believe the future of athletics is not about being there first, but about showing up most often. By eliminating the pressure to perform, we’re building a community of exercisers who approach activity with ease, humor and delight. We call this Doing Things — and are committed to the highest quality apparel to get you out there.” – Tyler Haney, Founder and CEO

Thank you, Outdoor Voices!

APIE Champion Awards

Awards Final 2018

Top row from left: Condé Nast, Rosalinda Rivera, Dobie Middle School. Bottom row from left: Silicon Labs, Lanier High School.

This year, we took the APIE Awards on the road to honor our APIE Champions right in their own schools and offices! From volunteers to financial support, these individuals and organizations have played a key part in helping us connect the community to the classrooms. This year’s recipients include: Dobie Middle School as APIE Middle School Champion, Condé Nast as Rookie of the Year, Silicon Labs as Business Partner of the Year, Lanier High School as High School Champion, and Rosalinda Rivera as APIE Coordinator of the Year. Thank you, champions!

Join Our Team! | Now Hiring: College Readiness Summer Associates

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Got summer plans? Become an AmeriCorps VISTA with APIE! Each VISTA Summer Associate will provide 20 to 30 hours weekly of academic tutoring to a group of approximately 10 rising 9th grade students. Living allowance and education award included. Click the link to learn more: https://bit.ly/2meFPkL

Donor Luncheon | March 28, 2018

This month, we celebrated our incredible donors at our annual appreciation luncheon. APIE is so grateful for the financial support that helps us serve Austin ISD students.  Pictured below are representatives from Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, IBM, Silicon Labs, Austin ISD, 2018 marathon team members, and individual donors. Thank you!

Hungry for more APIE? Follow us!

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February Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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It has been an exciting start to the New Year here at APIE! We’ve launched our STEM Discoveries Program, trained more Math Classroom Coaches and Mentors, prepared more students to become college ready, and even participated in the Austin Marathon. We are looking forward to an incredible spring semester!

Quick Bites of APIE | Tips for Mentoring Success

Build Trust – Make sure your student knows you care about what he/she thinks and feels.
Encourage – Focus on the positive and on doing things with rather than for your student. Share your own experiences to help him/her make decisions.
Listen – Listen twice as much as you speak, and reflect back on what you hear from your student.
Be Reliable – Set expectations you can live up to. Be consistent and persistent by living up to your commitments.
HAVE FUN!

APIE in the Classroom | Our Program Evaluation Results

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Math Classroom Coaching – Covington MS

Ringing in the New Year… with Results!  In focus group discussions conducted this past fall, we heard several volunteers asking if their volunteering efforts made a difference for the students.  I’m happy to report that the answer to that question is a resounding “YES!”

Each year, APIE participates in a program evaluation process with Austin ISD’s Department of Research and Evaluation experts.  In summary, we once again have evidence of the difference our programs make for students! Here are a few of my favorite data points from the last year’s report.

Math Classroom Coaching

  • 88% of APIE students said they are better at math because of their Classroom Coach.
  • APIE students’ academic self-confidence improved significantly for the 5th consecutive year.
  • APIE students outperformed a matched comparison group on the 8th grade Math STAAR test.

College Readiness

  • APIE students outperformed a matched comparison group in meeting College Readiness standards in English Language Arts, math, and both subjects.
  • APIE students completed the FAFSA & Apply Texas applications at significantly higher rates than a matched comparison group.
  • 97% of APIE students said they know the importance of being college ready and continuing their education after high school.

Click HERE for our full Annual Report.

Volunteer Spotlight | Dorcas Moore

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Dorcas Moore – APIE Volunteer

Dorcas Moore has been a volunteer with APIE since 2004! She’s been a Mentor and Classroom Coach throughout her many years with us. Currently, she is a Mentor at Blackshear Elementary School and has been with the same student for the past two years. She believes mentoring can empower students in many ways.

Why did you become a mentor?

When I was young I had a mentor, and I know how important it is. I believe having a mentor can empower the mentee to understand their abilities, make a decision, and have confidence.

What activities do you do with your mentee?  

We do a lot of different activities! For example, in October we made Halloween shirts together.

I’ve talked to all my mentees throughout the years about so many things, such as college, work, grades, and what they’re interested in. I always tell my mentees it’s okay to get good grades. Sometimes they get made fun of for getting good grades, and it’s cooler to slack off. I stress the importance of good grades and how it will help them down the road.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a mentor?

In the beginning, it is hard to get the student comfortable with you. I start by getting to know them and what they like. Usually by Christmas, they really start to warm up. After the break, they want you to come back and are excited you are there again.

What change have you seen in yourself since you’ve become a mentor?

I’ve learned to relax and not be so stiff. I want to be relaxed and in touch with the student to make it quality time.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a mentor?

It’s a rewarding experience. You are enabling a student to become a better person down the road.

Donor Spotlight | IBM

IBM Newsletter

IBM Volunteers – Burnet MS

IBM has been a valued partner of APIE since 2005, providing many talented Math Classroom Coaches to our students at Burnet and Webb middle schools as well as generous financial support.

The long term dedication of the IBM Classroom Coaches has transformed students. They encourage their coworkers to get involved and are able to connect students to concepts with real world, tangible examples, igniting student enthusiasm and self-confidence.   As the company says, “We think that the motivated/compassionate/intelligent IBMer is our best asset.”

IBM is a global company and seeks the best talent from across the world.  At the same time, the company is dedicated to helping “grow our own” locally.  One of IBM’s values is “Innovation that matters: for our company and for the world.”  The can-do IBMers who help create new technology are also putting their energies into helping Austin ISD students aspire to unlimited opportunities, perhaps even someday at IBM!

APIE in the Community | Austin Marathon

Thank you for being part of Austin Partners In Education’s 2018 Austin Marathon team – we had an awesome event because of YOU!

Our team of 28 runners, 61 volunteers, and 92 donors gave their time, talent and funds to support Austin students.  We covered many miles, hydrated thousands of runners, and raised nearly $30,000 for our Mentoring, Math Classroom Coaching, and College Readiness Programs that serve 2,000 students who need us most.

You helped make these wonderful things happen and we are truly grateful.

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October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

It has been a fantastic start to the school year with our programs back in action throughout AISD. Our students and teachers are enjoying another exciting year of knowledge-building and fun-filled learning made possible by YOU! We at APIE are so grateful to have you as volunteers!

“It has been a treat getting to know my students.  I’m excited to spend the year with them – and for all the learning we will do together!” – Lindsay Sobel, a Math Classroom Coach at Burnet.

Volunteer Spotlight | Melissa Huerta 20171026_134531.jpg

We are happy to have Melissa Huerta as a new volunteer with APIE this year! She is a Math Classroom Coach at Mendez Middle School in Mrs. Ramon’s class, who is also her daughter!

Melissa is a former accountant and was retired, but recently began working again at the Texas Real Estate Commission. She loves to volunteer and was inspired as a child by her parents who were active volunteers.

How has your experience as a Math Classroom Coach been so far?

It has been going really well. The group of girls I am with are really nice. I do think they feel more comfortable with me because I am their teacher’s mother.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

Talking with my group and hearing their stories and their background. I try to understand where they are coming from. I also enjoy learning new things. I review the lessons prior to our session and make sure I can confidently support the students before I show up in the classroom.

As a volunteer what impact do you hope to have on your students?

I want to hopefully instill in them that education matters. I want kids to understand that regardless of their situation, they can be successful.

KLRU American Graduate | Karen Yokem

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We are fortunate to be a part of KLRU’s American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen project. Click on and watch their video above featuring Karen Yokum, an IBM Math Classroom Coaching volunteer, sharing her story about being an APIE Mentor.

Donor Spotlight | Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs Big Check

Silicon Labs Supports APIE

Photo Left to Right: Bopanna Malachira, Mario, Jackie Padgett, Cathy Jones, Jean Evers, Terrencio and Sridhar Hariharan

The Silicon Labs corporate giving program is primarily focused on education, specifically STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for Austin’s middle and high school at-risk and minority youth. Like APIE, Silicon Labs views volunteer work as an opportunity to build a stronger community. For many years, Silicon Labs’ team members have been engaged volunteers and supporters of students in APIE programs, playing a key role as Math Classroom Coaches and Mentors. Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Silicon Labs, an innovative semiconductor manufacturer, is dedicated to improving the Austin community.

In 2017, Silicon Labs partnered with APIE to provide essential funding for Math Classroom Coaching at Martin Middle School in East Austin.  Silicon Labs’ financial and volunteer support has been key to APIE’s program growth at Martin.  We are honored to be partnered with a company that is dedicated to improving students’ success throughout the Austin community.

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Week of Giving

22538775_10155898401322148_2909696376683546386_oWe had a fun day with our volunteers participating in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Week of Giving! We would like to thank the Zenith Insurance Company’s team members for coming out to APIE, and helping us with our Math Classroom Coaching material preparation.

Happy Hour Recap

Beginner's ChallengeAPIE volunteers, donors, staff and board members had a wonderful evening mingling and sharing their exciting APIE experiences at Contigo!  We love our volunteers and hope to see YOU at our next gathering.

AISD BOND | November 7th

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Would you like more information about the Austin ISD bond? Please click the image above.

Giving Tuesday | November 28th

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This holiday season, give the gift of a mentor or a tutor to students across Austin ISD. Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of giving to non-profits. APIE greatly appreciates your volunteer work with Austin ISD students, and we are able to create even more of an impact through generous donations.  We look forward to your participation.

All donors will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.

Mark your calendars to support our Mentoring and Math Classroom Coaching programs on November 28th.

Austin Marathon | February 18th
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The 2018 Austin Gives Miles program connects Central Texas non-profit organizations to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and promote awareness for causes that give back to our local community.

Sign Up Now to Run or Fundraise for Our Cause!

Individuals can select Austin Partners In Education as their team to run with and add meaning to training and race day miles by supporting Austin ISD students.

To sign up for the 2018 Austin Marathon go to hhttp://youraustinmarathon.com/registration and select Austin Partners In Education as your team and official Austin Gives Miles Charity.

To fundraise for APIE go to https://www.crowdrise.com/apie/ and select ‘Fundraise for this Campaign’

Questions? 

Email Kiki McGuinn at kmcguinn@austinpartners.org

 

 

August Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

 

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          Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year from our Executive Director, Cathy Jones:

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APIE in the Classroom | Register Today! 

Registration is now open for our Math Classroom Coaching and Mentoring Programs.  Join APIE and support Austin students by becoming a Math Classroom Coach or Mentor today!

Interested in volunteering?
Check out all of our opportunities below and click to sign up!

 

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We’re always looking for committed volunteers! For more information, please contact Andrea Panter at apanter@austinpartners.org.

 

Kendra Scott Gives Back

Join Austin Partners In Education for a Kendra Gives Back Party on Friday, September 8th, at Kendra Scott South Congress Ave. Enjoy complimentary sips and sweets while shopping for jewels. 20% of all proceeds benefit Austin Partners In Education. 

 

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Austin Marathon

The 2018 Austin Gives Miles program connects Central Texas non-profit organizations to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and raise awareness for causes that give back to our local community. 


Sign Up Now to Run or Fundraise for Our Cause!

Individuals can select Austin Partners In Education as their team to run with and add meaning to training and race day miles by supporting Austin ISD students.  

To sign up for the 2018 Austin Marathon go to http://youraustinmarathon.com/registration and select Austin Partners In Education as your team and official Austin Gives Miles Charity.

To fundraise for APIE go to https://www.crowdrise.com/apie/ and select ‘Fundraise for this Campaign’  

Questions? 

Email Kiki McGuinn at kmcguinn@austinpartners.org





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Welcome back, classroom coaches and mentors! Please join APIE on Wednesday, October 11th, at Contigo for a fun fall happy hour with the APIE Team!

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Would you like more information about the AISD bond?

Please click the image below. 

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June Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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APIE is celebrating the completion of another great school year!

It has been a fun and productive year for all our programs and we owe our volunteers a big, THANK YOU.  Your time and presence make a difference for our students.

  • Math Classroom Coaching helped students improve their math skills, and boosted their academic self-confidence in math.
  • Our high school students became college ready and some participated in our new Pathways to Self-Advocacy Program.
  • Mentors made connections with students that will support them on their academic journey.
  • Career Conversations exposed students to different STEM careers.

Keep scrolling to see what’s been going on at APIE this spring and how we honored our volunteers and school champions during Celebrate and Salute.

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Quick Bites of APIE | Community Volunteers Share Their Experiences

  • Lucy Badillo – “I wanted to be impactful, and to be impactful you just need someone to talk to who’s not judging.”
  • Scott Byars – “It’s a great opportunity for City of Austin employees to participate within their community.”
  • Principal Shannon Sellstrom – “APIE volunteers are always here with a smile and positive attitude; and what a difference they make!”
  • Spikes Kangera – “I enjoy working with the kids each year and the subject matter suits me.”
  • Dorcus Moore – “When I see a child open up and become empowered to learn and grow, I think that’s the best thing in the world.”

Celebrate & Salute 2017!

This year’s Celebrate & Salute events were a wonderful success – bringing together the AISD community, volunteers, and school leaders to recognize excellence throughout the district and honor those who give their time and commitment to make our schools a better place. Read more here.

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Volunteer Champion| Becky Chen

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Volunteer Champion Becky Chen (left) with APIE Math Coordinator Emily Arnold (right)

As a Math Classroom Coach for over a decade, Becky Chen has long been a consistent presence at APIE. Since her first days volunteering at Bedichek Middle School to her current volunteer position at Mendez, Becky has arrived at each class with a smile and a friendly attitude.

Her experience as a manager at Austin Water Utility, her love of math and her patience and flexibility make her an incredible asset to AISD students and the APIE program. In addition to her exceptional volunteer work, Becky has assisted APIE with volunteer recruitment efforts at the City of Austin. She continues to share her experience and encourage her co-workers to volunteer. We are honored to recognize Becky as APIE’s 2017 Volunteer Champion of the Year.

Donor Champion | Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Since 2007, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has been a generous funder, advocate, and partner to APIE. MSDF’s commitment to APIE ensures our programs will be successful and continue to impact Austin ISD students.MSDF

The MSDF team members have been engaged supporters of APIE’s work, playing a key role in maximizing resources to serve AISD students. The Foundation and staff have been instrumental in supporting the growth and development of APIE’s programs, and have provided support in the creation of APIE’s three-year strategic plan, participation in Mission Capital’s Innovation Lab, and developing a logic model for our pilot program, Career Conversations.

As a highly strategic organization, the Foundation is committed to regional collaboration among organizations that support student success in Austin, of which APIE is a direct benefactor. This is best understood by MSDF’s explanation of their approach: “We push ourselves to experience the reality of the children and families we serve, preferring to work with our partner’s shoulder to shoulder to gain the biggest impact and learn what the next big opportunity or big idea could be. We approach our work with the needs of the community in mind and work directly with our partners from idea to implementation.”

APIE in the Classroom | College Readiness Facts and Stats

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Lauren, College Readiness Senior at Lanier High School

 

This year, APIE’s College Readiness Program served ten Austin ISD high schools and supported over 500 students. Not only did we help these students meet college readiness standards, our program also produced the following outcomes:

  • 91% of our students’ motivation to learn improved.
  • 97% of our students now know the steps needed to continue their education.
  • 99% of our students now know the importance of entering college academically prepared.

“I am grateful this program exists. I now have a detailed plan of where I want to go in my future.” – Lauren, Lanier HS student

 

APIE After School | UTeach Science Olympiad

This semester, APIE launched an exciting new partnership with UTeach Outreach. This collaboration has led to APIE recruiting, training and managing 12 STEM professionals in three after-school science clubs.

UTeach Outreach is a course at the University of Texas where UT students run STEM-focused after-school clubs and camps. The 7th-8th grade clubs met weekly for 7 weeks at Burnet, Covington and Fulmore Middle schools.  Volunteers guided students in lessons about experimental design, forensic science, and food science/nutrition. Students and volunteers enjoyed the active, hands-on UTeach lessons.

On May 15th, the program culminated in a mini-Science Olympiad held at the University of Texas, where the 7th-8th grade team from Covington Middle School won top honors! After a successful 1st semester, APIE is looking forward to continuing and expanding this partnership with UTeach in 2017-2018.

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Spring Day of Caring with Sprint

This Spring Day of Caring, APIE spent the day with a wonderful group of volunteers from Sprint.  “Thank you for cutting out materials and decorations for teachers at Brooke Elementary!” – The APIE Team

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Philanthropitch 2017

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