For Immediate Release: February 16, 2010

Contact: Kim Carter, QED Foundation, 603-554-7511


Q.E.D. Foundation Receives

$50,000 “Catalyst for Change” Award

Grant from Nellie Mae Education Foundation recognizes efforts to put students at the center of learning


Amherst, NH – Q.E.D. Foundation has been selected as a recipient of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s Catalyst for Change awards, which recognize existing examples of personalized, student-centered learning experiences across New England. Twelve schools and education organizations have received a one-time grant of $50,000.

“Q.E.D.’s work is about hope, innovation, community, and the power of choice. We’re honored by this recognition of the value of developing learning communities where students actively participate in the design and development of their learning program, working in relationships with mentors who are deeply invested in their success,” said Kim Carter, Executive Director of Q.E.D.

Q.E.D. Board Member and National Director of the Forum for Education and Democracy Sam Chaltain stated, “In all of my work with educators and schools around the country, I have never met a more effective catalyst for change than Kim Carter. Under her guidance, the Q.E.D. Foundation will continue to help light an innovative path toward more inclusive, student-centered learning environments.”

“The selection process has helped us become more aware of efforts already taking place across the region to put students at the center of the educational experience,” said Mary Sylvia Harrison, Vice President of Programs for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We’re pleased to recognize these schools and organizations, and we look forward to further exploring how to build on the momentum for innovation that these models create.”

All Catalyst for Change applicants were asked to clearly articulate how they define, implement and/or promote personalized, student-centered learning through their school models, policy change or advocacy efforts. Applicants were also asked to present a clear rationale for their particular approach and provide supporting evidence of the approach’s contributions to the improvement of educational outcomes for middle and high school students, especially the underserved. Applicants also had to show that their programs were a core facet of schooling and not a stand-alone program.

The Catalyst for Change award will assist Q.E.D. in sharing students’, families’, mentors’, and teachers’ powerful stories of the possibilities that emerge when learning is personalized and democratic. Q.E.D. will also offer mini-grants and scholarships to support training for schools and community organizations to facilitate similar learning for students throughout the New England region.

Q.E.D. Foundation is a multigenerational organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered learning communities. Q.E.D. has at its core the experiences of students and teachers from across New England, as codified by the work of the Monadnock Community Connections School community. We endeavor to create learning environments that empower each individual with the knowledge and skills to use his/her unique voice effectively and with integrity in co-creating our common public world. Our work is based on relationships and practices that first and foremost impact students’ growth and learning while simultaneously bringing change to our communities and the health of our society.

Twelve schools and organizations from across New England were selected to receive Catalyst for Change awards, including: Boston Arts Academy (Boston, MA); Boston Day & Evening Academy (Boston, MA); The Domus Foundation (Stamford, CT); Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (Augusta, ME); Northeast Kingdom Learning Services (Newport, VT); Sheepscot Valley Regional School Union # 12 (Wiscasset, ME); Springfield Renaissance School (Springfield, MA); Steps to Success (Brookline, MA); Vermont Rural Partnership (East Hardwick, VT); Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (Richmond, VT); and Young Voices (Providence, RI).


Q.E.D. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing training, coaching, and strategic consulting in the re-engagement of disengaged learners, effective design of engaging learning, youth voice, democratic practices, assessment for and of learning, equity, data collection and analysis, and math literacy coaching. In addition to working with schools and community organizations throughout New England, Q.E.D. provides a variety of online resources, accessible from, and maintains The Five Freedoms Project ( and the Five Freedoms Project online community at For additional information, contact Kim Carter, Executive Director,, 603-554-7511.

For more information about the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, visit