Taft announced today it has pledged more than $154,000 to Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58. In partnership with the United Way of Central Indiana, Taft has developed a program with the school that will support areas of need and improvement. The main areas of focus are to build and expand after school programming and to increase academic achievement of the Indiana English/Language Arts and Math Standards.
"Throughout our history, Taft always has felt a strong commitment to the community and we are very excited to announce our new partnership with School 58 and United Way to build a comprehensive after-school program," said Bob Hicks, Managing Partner of Taft’s Indianapolis office. "This initiative advances several of our goals and fundamental tenets as a firm including an ever increasing awareness of and commitment to enhanced diversity, community involvement, quality and equal opportunities in education, corporate citizenship, and employee team building and stewardship.”
"It’s encouraging to see companies like Taft grab a hold of the truth that we can’t ‘wait for Superman’ when it comes to addressing our children’s educational needs," said Jay Geshay, United Way of Central Indiana’s senior vice president for community services, who worked with Taft to develop this partnership. "Having Taft step up to say they want to help more young people succeed, and then put serious volunteer and financial resources behind the whole student body of a single school for several years is cause for both celebration and hope."
The proposed program includes:
- Supporting a full-time Community School Coordinator whose focus will be to (1) develop and maintain relationships with community partners and (2) increase after school programs available for students in hopes of keeping students in organized programs that will assist with the development of the social and emotional well-being of students.
- Supporting a part-time Parent Liaison/After-School Assistant whose focus will be to (1) build relationships between the school and the home assisting the staff in bridging the gap between the two and (2) fulfill all Title I expectations for home visits and workshops.
- Funding an additional grade (4th grade) of Project Seed, a math program that has been successful at improving academic achievement of Indiana Academic Math Standards.
- Funding additional after-school programs such as art, dance, martial arts, tutoring and new programming. These programs help children develop social and emotional skills as well as provide enrichment for students not having opportunities outside the school setting. In addition, funds for tutoring will help remediate students to improve their academic achievement of the Indiana English/Language Arts and Math Standards.
- Funding Student/Family/Teacher support for specific projects and activities that promote the development of relationships between the school and family and for specific projects of teachers that are approved by the Steering Committee.
- In addition to the activities outlined above, Taft employees will have many opportunities to volunteer their time and get involved with the students through tutoring, mentoring, and volunteering their time and talents.
”IPS is tremendously grateful for the generous support of Taft in helping our students to reach their full academic potential,” said Superintendent Eugene G. White. “As important to us as the funding is the human capital that Taft employees will provide to our youngsters. There’s no limit to the heights the students and staff of School 58 can achieve with this type of support.”
"We believe that helping address some of the difficult issues in our inner-city elementary schools today will better impact our community and workplace in the future by providing better educational opportunities to help students build a strong foundation in their formative years,” said Hicks. “In the overall economic and other issues facing IPS schools, this is a "drop in the bucket" and only a small step in the right direction. But, nevertheless, it is a very important first step in adopting a model from which we and others can build."
About Indianapolis Public Schools
The mission of the Indianapolis Public Schools is to prepare and empower all students for life. IPS works toward this mission by offering more educational choices than any other Indiana school system. As the state’s largest school district, IPS serves more than 32,000 students in 64 schools.
About United Way of Central Indiana
Serving six Central Indiana counties, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) helps sustain vital human services by working exclusively with proven human service agencies that direct life-changing opportunities. UWCI also helps reduce the needs of future generations by helping ensure that kids enter school ready to learn and graduate school ready to earn.
At Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, delivering outstanding legal performance to help clients succeed is what drives and motivates its more than 300 attorneys and legal professionals every day. Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Northern Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law, including: Business and Finance, Litigation, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights, Environmental, Health and Life Sciences; Personal Services; Real Estate and Tax law. With a proven track record of experience since 1885, Taft offers breadth and depth of legal expertise coupled with a trusted business perspective, helping its clients, big and small, regionally, nationally and internationally, in reaching their goals.