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Update

  • Spirit Series At Home

    ON SCREEN: Drama-Based Distance Learning

    For those looking to fully engage students and build community online this fall, we may be able to help. In May, as a response to Covid-19, we launched a bold experiment: taking fifth, sixth, and seventh grade participants in each of our three regions through the drama-based SPIRIT SERIES experience…on Zoom! Could we achieve the same transformative social-emotional and academic

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  • SPIRITED ’19

    This October, somewhere in Southern California, rural Maine or maybe San Francisco, our 50,000th program participant was about to meet the SPIRIT SERIES challenge. They sat in a classroom with no idea of the transformation that lay ahead. But we knew. By the end of their residency, this student would come to experience her/his own capacity for success. After three weeks immersed in the epic challenges and triumphs of a great historical hero, grappling with text – probably two to three grades above their reading level, collaborating with fellow classmates, reflecting on life’s most demanding questions, and facing their own fear in high stakes public performance, the results would very likely be profound: for this student, their teacher, and the entire school community.

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  • courage

    One Teacher Speaks for Many

    In August, my students started their last year of elementary school. When I asked what I could do to make this the best year ever, they all had the same response, SPIRIT SERIES! During fourth grade these students and I had the honor of working with your organization. Those three weeks we spent with SPIRIT SERIES were the best weeks of the school year! We grew so much together and created a stronger classroom community. I am truly hoping that we have the chance to do SPIRIT SERIES again.

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  • SPIRITED ’18

    The average American 12-year-old spends between 4.5 and 6.7 hours each day in front of a screen. Countless studies debate whether this is a symptom or the cause of a deepening crisis: loneliness and isolation. Either way, the statistics are harrowing: since 2010, the number of tweens and teens reporting “feelings of exclusion” has increased by over 35%; suicide rates for middle school girls are up by an astounding 70%; fully half of sixth grade students report they have been the target of bullying in the past 30 days alone! What we see in the classroom each day confirms just how starved young people are for a sense of belonging, heartfelt human contact, and community. These are among the greatest gifts SPIRIT SERIES has to offer…

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  • more than a number

    50,000: More Than a Number

    Eighteen years. Three states. Twelve percent average annual growth. As we approach another major milestone, we’re definitely getting ready to celebrate: 50,000 students served! It’s hard to believe that what started as one parent’s response to his daughter’s grief after losing her mother has grown to touch so many lives. Of course, numbers aside, the real milestones come every day in countless triumphs, small and large: Naomi, the blind sixth grader who would not let disability stop her; or Ricardo, the fifth-grade boy who had been in and out of homeless shelters and wrote at the end of SPIRIT SERIES: “I have more confidence than I knew. Now I feel like I can do anything!”

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  • assessment data

    Results: Quantitative Assessment – Year Two

    The numbers are now in for Year Two of our assessment and, we are proud to report, that partner teachers as well as participating students have told us much the same story as in Year One: SPIRIT SERIES works! For the second year in a row, we can report positive program impact in every one of the SERIES’ nine goals.

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  • spiritworks participants

    SPIRITWORKS Launched: A New Paradigm for Educator PD

    The school year is now in full swing, but for 33 educators in Southern California and Maine, school was in session this summer…and they were the students. These were the pilot participants in SPIRITWORKS, a transformative approach to professional development introduced this August at two Summer Institutes. Built around the SPIRITWORKS Leadership model, distilled from thousands of hours of classroom instruction, this method begins from a basic principle: transformative outcomes with students must begin with transformation in ourselves.

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