04 Feb Nike Awards $1.6M in High School Grants
Nike, Inc. and the Nike School Innovation Fund awarded a total of $1.6 million in grants to 71 Oregon high schools.
Since 2007, the Nike School Innovation Fund has invested more than $12 million by partnering with school leaders to support teachers and engage students in realizing their full potential. In 2015, the Nike School innovation Fund launched a statewide initiative focused on accelerating college and career readiness for Oregon high school students. This focus began last year and total grants given to date now total $3.4 million to support school implementation of the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) in 50 high schools. 2015 was also the first year Nike partnered with the James and Marion L. Miller Foundation and The Oregon Community Foundation to expand its reach into more Oregon schools. For the 2016-17 school year, all 50 schools have implemented college and career readiness best practices and applied to renew funding to continue this work. Nike will continue to support these 50 schools, plus the program will expand to an additional 21 schools.
“It’s in Nike’s DNA to inspire and innovate, and we believe that one of the most important ways we can contribute to better, stronger communities is to take that inspiration to our classrooms,” said Keith Houlemard, Executive Sponsor of Nike School Innovation Fund, VP and GM of the Olympics at NIKE, Inc. (and a Portland Public School District parent).”Our goal is to help support amazing teachers, counselors and principals so we can improve graduation rates, narrowing the achievement gap and preparing more students for college and beyond.”
The grants represent the second year of partnership with AVID. AVID’s research-based strategies and curriculum provide educators with training to better prepare students for success in high school, college or a career — especially students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. A full 99 percent of students who participate in the AVID program graduate from high school on time, with the skills, academic behaviors and knowledge needed to succeed in college and beyond.
“Nike has done a fantastic job in bringing educators together to collaborate and create a network of support within Oregon in regards to AVID implementation, graduation rates and school improvement,” said Molly Ouche, Principal of Parkrose High School in Portland. “High schools are really isolated and because of Nike’s role those walls of isolation have really been broken down. Now we are not only speaking the same language about what is best for our students, we have been provided the structure and support to have those conversations. The training that we have received through this grant is by far the best professional development I have received as an educator.”
Of the 50 schools that received grants during the 2015-16 school year, 12 have been paired with Nike Leaders and receive additional support and funding for school-based innovations and programming that directly impacts students. Each principal and Nike Leader work to develop innovative solutions to address the most urgent and unique needs of their students and school.
“It is a true testament to the power of AVID that all 50 of the schools from last year reapplied for the program again this year. It is an honor to continue our work with those schools while extending the opportunity to an additional 21 schools throughout the state,” said Vanessa Wilkins, Director of the Nike School Innovation Fund.
2016-17 Recipients of the Nike School Innovation Fund grants are: