Bingham Fellows Class of 2012 will implement projects designed to engage families and the community in student achievement

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2012, charged with “Creating the path to prosperity – engaging the community to inspire student achievement,” presented their work to the community at their graduation on Sept. 13.  After months of exploration and creative problem-solving, the 2012 Fellows shared their early outcomes and strategies ahead to engage parents, families and the community for improved academic success.  Concluding remarks were made by Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Donna Hargens.  

“I’m so impressed with the talent of this group and what they have been able to accomplish,” said Dr. Donna Hargens following presentations by the 2012 Bingham Fellows.  “They demonstrate that our community is in very good hands and I look forward to seeing the impact of their work on students and learning at JCPS for years to come.”

The 2012 Bingham Fellows include leaders with decades of experience and represent Louisville’s largest local universities, public and parochial school systems, government agencies, the faith-based community, community-based organizations and local corporations with an interest in the economic implications of an educated workforce.  Their diverse perspectives include an understanding of the needs of single parents and populations from all socio-economic backgrounds.  They are a unique gathering of individuals with expert knowledge and a passion for civic involvement, as Barry and Mary Bingham envisioned when the program was founded in 1988. (Full class list is below.)

To broaden resources for family and caregiver involvement, the Bingham Fellows concluded that there isn’t one single approach – solutions need to come from multiple angles and the whole community has a role to play.  Their comprehensive approach is focused on the building blocks of school, community and families. 

The projects include the following (see summary of Bingham Fellows 2012 outcomes on our website:

Principal leadership The Great Principals Make Great Schools project worked with JCPS staff to gather input about parental engagement directly from principals at JCPS elementary schools. The data was clear – from the principals’ perspective, parental engagement is critical and more work is needed to engage families and caregivers.  Under development are two solutions for the needs expressed by principals:  (1) professional development training in the area of family engagement, and (2) creating opportunities for sharing best practices with schools that have similar demographic and engagement challenges.  Research data has also been shared with JCPS administration, new assistant superintendents and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for use in curriculum development of the Leadership Institute for School Principals.

Most importantly, because accountability and measurement have the ability to raise awareness and focus, the Fellows are collaborating with the JCPS Data Management Department to include a Parental Engagement Index as a key metric for schools.  

Strong and supportive community alliances The principal survey also found that the links between JCPS and community-based organizations (CBOs) are inconsistent.  Because CBOs provide wrap-around services that extend beyond the scope and focus of public schools, intentional relationships between the two have the ability to transform schools.

To strengthen these relationships, the Student Achievement Supports project will work with JCPS to effectively engage and build partnerships with CBOs to improve academic outcomes for students.  Using a single JCPS area, a pilot project will create a structure and process that easily links schools with support services for students and families.  Over 50 organizations have been tapped to be part of the pilot and interest is growing. The pilot will use a formal rapid-change process to increase and strategically align the resources of CBOs with students and families facing critical social and psychological challenges. 

Family and caregiver engagement – Involvement goes beyond joining the PTA and having bake sales. What impacts student achievement the most is how caregivers engage in learning activities and support at home. The earlier it begins, the more powerful the effect. Actions such as reading, helping with homework, showing interest in school work and positive interactions within schools can have great impact on student success. 

Strong Beginnings — The Jefferson County Nurturing Early Successful Transitions (NEST) project seeks to ensure children have an emphasis on learning early in their lives and to provide parents and caregivers with a strong foundation as childrens’ first educators.  NEST is a pilot program to facilitate collaboration between JCPS and a small number of community-based early childcare centers, reaching about 200 children. Parents and caregivers in these centers will receive personalized education and information about learning activities at home, kindergarten readiness and the new JCPS guidelines for teaching and learning, including the Common Core standards and Common Kindergarten Entry Screener being implemented by the Kentucky Department of Education.  The vehicles for providing this education – presentations, modeling exercises and a workbook based on the new kindergarten screener – will be explored with the early childhood personnel, JCPS and parents.

Empowered Parents — To help inform and educate parents on the ways they can support their child’s academic success, a coalition of key community stakeholders are developing the Parent Education Network (PEN), a parent-led group who will work toward making families and caregivers more sophisticated consumers of education.

Stakeholders include community institutions that support parents, corporations and educators.  With the resources available through these organizations, the PEN has the potential to empower parents who participate, help them develop a peer network and create strategies that help themselves and other parents.  With guidance and support, parents will have the ability to become increasingly involved in home learning activities and find opportunities to teach and be models for their children.

A Culture of Achievement — When families and caregivers know better, they do better.  A Social Marketing initiative will strive to create a new social norm for caregivers to take simple actions, know key milestones and build higher expectations for positive academic outcomes.   Using local media outlets and social media, this initiative will reach families where they are and seek to educate the entire community.  From the date of the first day of school to parent/teacher conferences and tips for how and when to review report cards, this information seeks to move the needle of parent and community involvement in a positive direction.

In addition, to increase pride and potential resources for public schools, support will be provided to JCPS for ongoing media relations efforts that highlight extraordinary student activities and academic outcomes.

Members of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2012 include:
Daniel Arbough, LG&E and KU Energy LLC; John Asher, Churchill Downs; Julie Brown, Family Scholar House; Diane M. Calhoun-French, Ph.D., Jefferson Community & Technical College; Larry Caruso, GE Home and Business Solutions; Aristofanes Cedeño, Ph.D., Governor’s Scholars Program, Inc.; John Cullen, P.E., LockUpLead; Peter Cummins, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Craig Dilger, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC; Kevin Fields, Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc.; Daniel P. Fox, Family & Children’s Place; Shawn Gardner, 2NOT1 Fatherhood and Families, Inc.;

Joe Gilbert, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Rev. Kathy Goodwin, United Methodist Church; Michelle Griffin, Ph.D., Humana Military Healthcare Services Inc.; Michael F. Hall, Citi; Debra Hoffer, Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, Inc.; Jim Hogan, U.S. Voice & Data; Andrea Houston, Education First Foundation, Inc.; Jennifer Hughes, Deming, Malone, Livesay & Ostroff; Dana C. Jackson, Network Center for Community Change; Brian Jones, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Beverly J. Keepers, Ph.D., Spalding University;

Rick King, Eaton Corporation; Glenn Kosse, Bellarmine University; Vitalis Lanshima, Jefferson County Board of Education; Doris Mann, A Hen’s Green House, LLC; Dodie L. McKenzie, James Graham Brown Foundation; John Megibben, Messer Construction Co.; Jamie Meyers, Humana Inc.; Robin Miller, Louisville Science Center; Mark Mueller, The Oliver Group; Karen Napier, Metro United Way; Jim Parobek, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Inc.; Tony Peyton, Louisville Metro Government;

Cecelia Price, Archdiocese of Louisville; Robert J. Rodosky, Ph.D., Jefferson County Public Schools; Jenny Sawyer, University of Louisville; Jan Scholtz, CRS, ABR, Jan Scholtz Realtors; David W. Seewer, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP; Steve Tarver, YMCA of Greater Louisville; Nancy Warfield, Brown-Forman Corporation; and Anthony Zipple, Ph.D., Seven Counties Services, Inc.

2012 Bingham Fellows’ Steering Committee:
The steering committee serves as an advisory board for the class throughout the program year.  The committee includes: Ralph Fitzpatrick, University of Louisville; Bill Hollander, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP; B. Lindsey Miller, GE Foundation and JCPS; Bonnie Lash Freeman, National Center for Family Literacy; Debbie Wesslund, Jefferson County Public School Board; and Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees.   


About the Bingham Fellows program:
The Bingham Fellows program is the advanced leadership program of the Leadership Louisville Center.  It was created in 1988 through a $500,000 endowment from the Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fund. The participants are social entrepreneurs who have both a vision and the ability to assemble the resources required to implement that vision to address obvious social needs.  Now in its 21st year, the Bingham Fellows have had an impressive track record of providing emerging issues with visibility and momentum. 

In recent years, they’ve contributed to the development of a long-term vision for our community, enhanced environmental responsibility through initiatives at the grassroots and policy levels, worked to attract and retain talent with an internship program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc. and helped form the Kentucky Indiana Exchange, a regional leadership coalition.  The impact of the Fellows goes back to the 1990s with the creation of The Housing Partnership, construction of the Presbyterian Community Center, growth of local farmers’ markets and numerous other positive outcomes. 


About the Leadership Louisville Center:
Created in 1979, the Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement.  Its mission is to grow and connect a diverse network of leaders who serve as catalysts for a world-class community through dynamic programming and strong community connections. Over 6,000 community leaders have graduated from the Center’s programs that include Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville and Bingham Fellows.  In 2011, the Leadership Louisville Center was recognized as one of the top seven community leadership programs in the U.S. in a benchmark study by the Center for Creative Leadership, the “gold standard” global provider of executive leadership education and research. 

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For more information, contact:

Holly Prather
Vice President – Marketing
Direct: (502) 753-6503  Main: (502) 561-0458