The Big Idea – Equitable, Youth-Centered Ecosystem of Learning

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We aim to build an ecosystem of learning where students go and get their learning based on their interests. Working with community partners will establish “places” of learning. The places we be marked with symbols letting youth know they are part of the ecosystem. Places such as museums, libraries, businesses, cultural institutions and parks, all have potential. In addition, students can create their own “pathways” depending on their interests. 

Students begin their journey as Explorers.

Why: Humans love to learn but learning is usually associated with schools. Schools measure only a narrow range of interests and capabilities. We believe by encouraging youth to go out and get their learning we can inspire the intellectual curiosity, creative energy, talent and skills necessary to thrive in the 21st Century.

We are working closely with Education Reimagined and a cohort of practitioners, funders, corporate leaders, and interested parties, to develop equitable, youth centered, ecosystem’s of learning.

To execute on the Big Idea we are remaining true to our 3-pronged organizational strategy of running model programs, collaboration with partners, and influencing decision makers. Over time we’ve remained true to our pedagogical principles emphasizing engagement and belonging but we are now championing several ingredients required for success and we feel the ecosystem approach is the best way for youth to realize what we call their Positive Future Visions. 

We ask the learners we work closely with to fill out power cards, and answer questions about their likes and dislikes. We want to know what makes them tick and where they are interested in growing, knowing that success requires access to people, places and things. And while students pursue their interests we pay attention to how they are building skills and growing confidence. We also try to ensure learners are making choices based on their integrated identity. If they know themselves they are more likely to make choices leading to long term thriving. And of course, we know one’s life journey is not a straight line.

Imagine the boy who at the end of 7th grade couldn’t see beyond high school. Next year he dreamed of earning an athletic scholarship playing professional basketball, now he sees more potential in a career as a physical therapist. By staying in relationship with our learners for years we can support their journeys for years.

Cohort 1-The Blue Economy
To realize the ecosystem vision we are organizing a cohort of like-minded practitioners in Newport County whose programs are connected to science, sustainability and recreation. While we have been executing on our 3-prong strategy for years vision is crystallizing with development cohort like-minded practitioners Newport County interested in creating a latticework of opportunities leading to blue economy pathways.