What problem do we solve?
Literacy is the fundamental building block of opportunity: reading lets you learn, vote, work, access life-saving health information. It translates to 20-40% higher income, but 600 million children are failing to become proficient readers — and missing out on these opportunities. Reading is a slow, difficult skill to learn. Learning to read requires years of work to rewire the three main phases with brain through increasingly complex tasks and greater benefits: fundamentals, decoding and
Early Education STREAM challenge
We partner with our technology partners at InventXR in Silicon Valley to develop a comprehensive curriculum and infrastructure that is unique to the DURANT Model. InventXR Education Foundation provides innovative solutions for education programs to national and international communities to address obstacles in education to support the next generation of critical thinkers and creators. Both enterprises believe that every child on this planet should have equal access to a great early education and there is a national economic benefit in investing in high quality early education. The foundation seeks to create a more equitable education environment for all students that empowers and uplifts the next generation of STREAM change makers regardless of geographic, psychographic, demographic, or socio-economic limitations. The Wanda Durant Academy is committed to promoting access to early education STREAM curriculum and Early Education Teacher Training. By building software and hardware infrastructure, the DURANT model can be scaled beyond our home community in the future.
Early Education teacher technology challenge
All children—including DLLs who can easily get left behind—can benefit from higher quality and more frequent STREAM instruction. According to a 2015 study, less than half of early childhood educators have ever had professional development in the use of educational technology and the numbers are even miniscule for immersive education technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. By helping more teachers overcome their anxiety around teaching STEM, our professional development Virtual Reality program is designed to empower teachers and bringing high-quality STREAM instruction into pre-K classrooms through our partnership with InventXR Education Foundation. InventXR collaborates with the Durant Academy in designing high-quality professional development programs to empower teachers with new tools that can be integrated into their practice.
Dreams and Lives Unfulfilled in a Cycle of Poverty, Hopelessness, and Violence
In our society, in our country, in our communities, children live without food to eat, without clothes to wear, and often without a home to protect them. Still other children (and sometimes the very same children) have a parent or guardian who abuses them, neglects them, or simply exposes them to the same violence and poverty they experienced as children.
These children – our children – will be consistently experiencing trauma, crises, or lack of a safe and secure home environment. They will not receive safe and secure environments either in the home or in their neighborhoods. They will not have positive adult role models who are either telling them or showing them how to grow and mature to meet their personal potential.
When these children come to school, they come into a system whose focus is to meet the educational needs of all children. On the spectrum of academic, social, and emotional preparedness, these children have needs that are the most challenging to meet. More often than not, teachers neither have the preparation, training, energy, nor desire to ensure these students grow academically, socially, or emotionally. In the process, educators, children, and families all contribute to building their own prison walls within which the children will live for the rest of their lives. They are perpetuating the cycle of poverty, hopelessness, and violence.