Since 2011, Taft has contributed and pledged more than $590,000 to Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58. The funds help support a full-time community/school coordinator, a part-time parent liaison/after-school assistant, funding for additional after-school programs, transportation home from those programs and more. In addition, Taft employees volunteer at the school in many different ways.
Following is a summary of activities and academic progress for the 2013-2014 school year:
- IPS 58 had the highest ISTEP passing rate of any of the IPS priority schools, with a 5.1% gain.
- Students enrolled in after-school programs scored even better on ISTEP compared to students that did not participate in the programs.
- 65% of students enrolled in after-school programs (up from 39% the year before).
- Due to Taft's support, transportation home was provided for students enrolled in after-school programs. Approximately 77 students used the bus transportation, many of whom otherwise wouldn't have been able to participate.
- 62% of ReadUP students demonstrated the ability to read at grade level as measured by ISTEP + ELA.
- Students that participated in ReadUP on average received 30 one-on-one sessions during the school year.
- Project Seed, a math-based enrichment program, was used to provide intensive ISTEP prep for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. The school saw great growth in overall passing scores.
- 65% of students participating in Project Seed demonstrated grade-level math skills as measured by ISTEP + Math.
- Students participating in Taft-funded programming achieved a 97% attendance rate for the 2013/14 school year (up from 96% the year before).
- The Community School Coordinator focused on strengthening current partnerships:
- Members of the 100 Black Men boys basketball program participated in a weekend event with a team from School 13. The boys from both schools were able to work together as a team and learned valuable life lessons about success and nutrition.
- Girls Scouts continues to be a growing club, with nearly 50 members after starting only three years ago.
- The adult and children team began an after-school club that has been a positive experience for those students being counseled.
- Impact Martial Arts grew their club by seven students.
- Ivy Tech provided after-school hours for service learning.
- Mad Science joined as a new partner. This was one of the most popular and most regularly attended clubs.
- 427 parents attended 13 workshops that provided instructional tips for parents to support their child's academic success.
- 102 home visits were completed by the parent liaison.
- The school saw parent volunteer participation increase 25%.
- The school is proud of the 79 community volunteers who give their time to tutor and volunteer in after-school programs and much more.
- Taft employees volunteered at ReadUP and other after-school programs.
- Taft attorneys Abe Gregory, Julian Harrell, Chris Montagano and Jinee Majors presented to the sixth graders as part of the Law Exploratory and Career Readiness Program. In addition, Tom Barnard, Abe Gregory and Julian Harrell attended the federal courthouse field trip as part of that program. Taft hosted the sixth graders for lunch following the courthouse visit.
- Taft recognized six Taft scholars for second semester academic achievement and good behavior. Taft also honored 16 students for being most improved in their classroom.
- Julian Harrell was the guest speaker at the 6th grade promotion ceremony.
From Principal Susan Kertes:
“As Principal of Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58, it is my goal to provide a safe and enriching learning experience for all students. Because of Taft’s generosity, School 58 is able to provide such learning experiences. Through after-school activities with transportation, student incentives, mentoring opportunities, academic programming and professional development for teachers, School 58 students achieved a much higher level! One of those achievements is the improvement of ISTEP scores.
The positive progress is a testament to the critically important role that Taft's generosity has played here at #58 each and every day. The various Taft-sponsored programs had both an immediate and lifelong impact on students. Thank you for the many ways Taft supports the staff, the school community and, most importantly, the students!”
- “I liked after-school because I loved doing crafts and seeing my friends.” – 1st grade student in Kid’s Club
- “I really liked playing basketball. It was my favorite day of the week!” – 6th grade student in boys basketball
- “I could really see the effect that after school had on my child. She definitely had a lot of fun and always looked forward to going.” – parent of 3rd grade student in Good News Club
- “I was go grateful my student could ride the bus home. I have to work, and he wouldn’t have been able to participate had the bus not been provided for him. He loves basketball so much and is excited to be participating in the program at School 58.” – parent of 6th grade student in boys basketball
To learn more about the program, please click here.