June 28th, 2012
ACET is buzzing with activity this summer, particularly due to a series of trips to our nation’s capital. Recently, Kirsten and Stella attended an advisory board meeting with a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The meeting gave ACET an opportunity to present last year’s findings and to participate in discussions with project leadership. “It’s nice to have a chance to debrief together and also be part of the planning process,” Stella reflected about the event. June also marked another DC trip for Kirsten, where she attended an annual meeting with the Children’s Bureau.
In July, Joseph Curiel will arrive for the National Council for Community and Education Partnership (NCCEP)/GEAR UP annual conference. Joseph is looking forward to both networking with attendees and taking in the sights of the city. The 4-day conference, entitled “The E4 Revolution: Education, Empowerment, Equity & Economics,” will mark Joseph’s first visit to DC. The trip to DC also includes a pre-conference discussion about moving forward with the multi-state consortium of GEAR UP programs for the purposes of cross-program evaluation and research.
Finally, Mary Burns is traveling to the DC area for a slightly different event at the end of July: she will be co-directing a workshop with her sister at Baltimore, Maryland’s Otakon, a convention dedicated to Japanese media and culture and one of the largest of its kind in the country. The workshop subject is the traditional Japanese card game hanafuda, and will both teach attendees to play the game as well as examine its history, symbolism, and appearances in modern culture, in and outside of Japan. Both Mary and her sister are very excited to have been accepted to present at Otakon.
June 22nd, 2012
A lot of work goes into producing a good executive summary of key evaluation report findings. Executive summaries are typically 1 to 2 pages in length, can be photocopied on 1 sheet of paper, and are easily distributed.
A good executive summary requires the evaluator to rethink the original report. This task should not be a cut-and-paste job from the body of the report. The evaluator literally has to step back, think beyond what a specific finding shows, and strategically tease out key information into a succinct summary.
Writing a good executive summary takes time and practice. The more that you do it, the better you get. Unless you are gifted at playing chess and can anticipate future moves of your client, don’t attempt to write the summary until the report is finished. Tackle this task last, or even consider sharing the report with clients and then facilitating a conversation with them to discuss key findings. This step in turn can enrich how you frame the summary.
Stay tuned for more about this subject in the future!
June 6th, 2012
ACET, Inc. has a staff of 7 employees, which makes us one of the millions of small businesses operating in America today, according to the United States Census Bureau. At a time when a great deal of attention is being paid to the hiring practices of American industries and the effect of joblessness can be felt everywhere, some people believe that the way out is through a greater commitment to the support of small local businesses. Why is this support important, and even beneficial, right now?
Purchasing goods and services from small local businesses ensures that that much more of one’s dollar stays in the local economy as that business in turn invests in other local businesses. Small businesses are much more likely to be in tune with the specific needs of the communities and neighborhoods where they operate, as well as to changes within those communities, and they are more agile with regard to innovation.
At the signing of the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, President Barack Obama commented that small businesses “are the anchors of our main streets. Small businesses are part of the promise of America. The idea that if you’ve got a dream and willing to work hard, you can succeed… it’s this promise that has drawn millions to our shores and made our economy the envy of the world.” ACET is just such a local promise, founded by New American Stella SiWan Zimmerman, who herself invests in local businesses and employs a diverse work force who are all equally dedicated and willing to work hard for clients. ACET is devoted to community engagement through the development of quality evaluation products and partnerships with the local and state initiatives working to improve outcomes for children, families, seniors, and schools.
June 1st, 2012
The Foundation Center reports a new grant program offered by Kaiser Permanente aimed at eliminating economic disparities and the disproportionate racial and ethnic impact of HIV. Four two-year awards ($125,000 per year for $250,000 total) will be awarded to community-based projects focused on reducing HIV infection by utilizing and increasing access to HIV care and by identifying recently infected adolescents and adults. Nonprofit organizations including community and minority health groups, organizations focused on community and/or national partnerships towards minority health and education, among others, are invited to apply. Per the announcement, “applicants must have the ability to work with multiple ethnic and racial populations and have the capacity to collaborate with other organizations that represent targeted minority populations.”
The deadline for applications is July 2, 2012. The full PDF can be viewed here.
June 1st, 2012
Here's a picture of me with my youngest sister. I'm the tough one in the bright pink!
Continuing on from last week, Elizabeth shared some facts about herself for this week’s blog.
- I’ve never traveled outside the U.S. – except for Canada – so that’s high on my priority list. I’d love to visit India!
- This is not so unusual, but I love animals. My family has a dog, a cat, and a rabbit.
- Now that I’ve basically completed my Master’s degree, what I’m most looking forward to is reading for pleasure! I have a gigantic stack of books I’ve been collecting for the past 2 years that I can’t wait to start reading.
- I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel.
- I love really awful horror movies – the ones that are so incredibly bad they’re funny. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of my all-time favorites.