Diplomas Now Featured at First Annual Building a Grad Nation Summit
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 23, 2011 – Diplomas Now was featured at the plenary session of the Building a Grad Nation Summit on March 22 in Washington, D.C. before an audience of nearly 900 education leaders. A short video was shown that explains Diplomas Now and its remarkable success in schools. A panel of Diplomas Now leaders explained how the model works: the panel included Bob Balfanz of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University; Jim Balfanz, president of City Year; Dan Cardinali, president of Communities in Schools; Claire Lyons of PepsiCo Foundation, as well as Peter Beard, senior vice president of United Way Worldwide, a partner in Diplomas Now’s expansion.
Lyons explained that PepsiCo Foundation is investing in Diplomas Now because “we wanted a partnership that is bringing about lasting change.” Jim Balfanz explained that City Year volunteers call students when they miss school and connect their classroom learning to learning outside the classroom. “The magic of Diplomas Now is the sum of its parts,” he said. Cardinali said that Diplomas Now offers a set of strategies that can transform a school.
At the Grad Nation event, new data was presented by Bob Balfanz, showing that the number of “dropout factory” high schools has declined by 6 percent from 2008 to 2009.