CHARLES AND HELEN SCHWAB FOUNDATION SELECTS TRANSITION PARTNERS FOR SCHWAB LEARNING
GreatSchools and Professor Garfield Foundation to Inherit
Learning Disability (LD)-Focused Web Content
SAN MATEO, Calif. (December 17th, 2007) – The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation announced today its intention to merge its award-winning Schwab Learning websites with two nonprofit organizations, selected from an invitation-only review process, to continue operations for SchwabLearning.org, dedicated to helping parents of children with learning and attention problems, and SparkTop.org, the first website designed exclusively for 8 – 12 year olds who struggle with learning.
In September 2007, the Foundation announced that it will shift its focus from its operating program, Schwab Learning -- a free direct service program with a twenty-year history of helping families of children with learning and attention problems -- to concentrate on grants.
“In making this transition it was important to find partners who share our commitment to providing the best possible information and resources to the millions of families impacted by learning difficulties. We reached out to a select group of partners and ultimately selected two organizations who have the potential to reach even more parents and their kids who struggle with learning,” said Jodell Seagrave, managing director of Schwab Learning.
GREATSCHOOLS TO ACQUIRE SCHWABLEARNING.ORG
In a move that ensures LD resources and support reach an even wider range of parents, San Francisco-based GreatSchools will be the recipient of SchwabLearning.org content. GreatSchools, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving K-12 education by inspiring parents to get involved, will also continue to support SchwabLearning.org’s community of parents of kids with LD. Rather than ending an era, the transfer of Schwablearning.org to GreatSchools presents a dynamic future for supporting the needs of millions of families whose children struggle with learning. By joining forces, GreatSchools will preserve Schwab Learning’s mission and high-quality offerings, while welcoming Schwab Learning parents into a community of more than 33 million Americans – each committed to school and life success for their children.
"We are honored that the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation has entrusted GreatSchools with this valuable resource," said Bill Jackson, the founder, president and CEO of GreatSchools. "We believe that SchwabLearning's information and engaged parent community will help us increase our value to parents whose children struggle with learning. We are committed to building on this outstanding work to benefit millions more parents in the coming years."
PROFESSOR GARFIELD FOUNDATION TO ACQUIRE SPARKTOP.ORG
SparkTop.org content will transition to the Professor Garfield Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Garfield creator Jim Davis, committed to engaging children in learning. A strong desire to expand content for children who struggle with learning, existing partnerships with Schwab Learning and a longstanding respect for the work of the Professor Garfield Foundation were key factors in this selection. The transition of SparkTop.org into the Professor Garfield Foundation combines two highly acclaimed resources in children’s media and literacy. A recognized leader in education, Jim Davis and his powerful Garfield brand will now directly support success for kids with learning disabilities.
“One of the unexpected joys of being in this line of work has been hearing from the parents of children who learned to read thanks to the Garfield comic strip,” said Davis. “After nearly 30 years of doing the strip, we’ve heard this often enough that we're convinced the strip is a great teaching tool – the simple combination of words and pictures stimulates learning. That's why we created the Professor Garfield Foundation and the Professor Garfield website. We all learn in different ways, or as SparkTop.org says, ‘No two brains spark alike.’ It’s very gratifying that the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation are electing Garfield to carry on their vision. It’s a responsibility we take seriously. It will encourage us to redouble our efforts to help kids grow and learn.”
Charles and Helen Schwab established their private foundation in 1987 with the first iteration of Schwab Learning, when very few resources were available to families of children struggling with LD. Since 1987, the Foundation has invested more than $90 million in resources to serve the LD community, beginning with the original Parent’s Education Resource Center through the creation and management of today’s award-winning websites, SchwabLearning.org for parents and SparkTop.org for children. This guidance and support has provided an invaluable resource for millions of families free of charge.
“The merger of our websites with these two organizations will ensure that our resources continue to evolve, thrive and support parents of children struggling with learning difficulties,” said Charles Schwab, chairman of the board for the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. “Helen and I are confident that those families who have depended upon our websites will be in capable hands as we focus our philanthropic efforts on grant-making to worthy organizations in the areas of learning difficulties, human services, education, civic and cultural arenas.”
About GreatSchools (http://www.greatschools.net)
GreatSchools Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization working to improve K-12 education by inspiring parents to get involved. Its online media property, GreatSchools.net, is the nation's premier provider of K-12 school information, reaching 33 million users last year, an estimated reach into 33% of the nation's K-12 households. GreatSchools provides school information on its free Web site, GreatSchools.net, and through its free email newsletters thanks to the support of foundations and corporations that understand the importance of parent involvement in a child's education.
About The Professor Garfield Foundation
The Professor Garfield Foundation will strive to become a world leader in the direct free delivery of innovative digital learning around the world with a primary emphasis on children’s literacy. Through the use of content that is engaging and pedagogically sound, The Professor Garfield Foundation will help individuals learn to read and write in English and to experience and enjoy “edutainment” in other important educational areas.
For the past 26 years, Garfield creator Jim Davis has been hearing from parents about how Garfield helped their child learn to read. Countless teachers tell Jim how they use Garfield and his friends as a powerful tool to motivate and teach children in the classroom. “Garfield” is therefore a famous and suitable icon for a venture that blends entertainment with learning.