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Irvine in the News: July 2010

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Aug 01, 2010

In July 2010, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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San Francisco Chronicle: Linking Courses to Careers Improves Grad Rates

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Jul 25, 2010

When Cynthia Gutierrez arrived four years ago at Skyline High School in Oakland, she was neither an academic superstar nor someone who struggled with school. Like most kids, she says, she was "somewhere in the middle." Bored with her classes, she'd left behind a trail of C's and D's, and with some bad luck, she might have even lost interest in school altogether. "I didn't know what I was doing," she says.

Instead, Gutierrez had a stroke of good fortune. During her freshman year, a teacher told her about Skyline's education academy, a small school within the school centered around careers in education. When she heard the program included regular field trips, she signed up. Gutierrez and 25 of her classmates spent the next three years taking classes together on education-related topics like child development and how people learn, combining a rigorous college-prep curriculum with student-teaching trips to local elementary schools. In the close-knit environment of the academy, Gutierrez found new motivation, and she discovered a love of teaching.

"Before, I couldn't really connect with my teachers all that well," she says. "But in the academy, it was different." Gutierrez's grades improved, even with a more demanding course load that qualified her for admission to the state university system. Her teachers say she blossomed into a leader. And in June, she earned something that far too many of California's young people do not: a high school diploma.

Students like Gutierrez are far from the exception in California's public schools, but they aren't nearly as much of the rule as California needs. Over the past 10 years, while graduation rates at high schools across the country have been climbing, many of California's high schools have gotten worse. One out of 3 students in our state still doesn't graduate from high school, severely limiting career options - and sending negative consequences rippling across the state's economy. Barely a third of those who do, meanwhile, are considered "college ready." For students of color and those from low-income households, these numbers are even worse, but for years, education experts have been struggling to find a way to close this widening achievement gap.
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Audacious Ideas: Jim Canales

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
User is currently offline
| Jul 20, 2010
From the Tactical Philanthropy blog, July 19, 2010

Bill and Melinda Gates along with Warren Buffett recently announced their commitment to devote the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Perhaps more notably, they are encouraging other billionaires to pledge a similar commitment, and a new website, www.givingpledge.org, has been launched to encourage their peers to follow suit and to document these pledges.

This is certainly audacious. And it got me thinking about what similar “pledges” those of us privileged enough to work within organized philanthropy should be thinking about. Obviously, each of our foundations effectively makes a pledge by deciding where to focus our grants, whether on issues of education, health, economic development, the environment or the arts.

But, I’d suggest there are other commitments we should consider related to how we as foundations engage in our work in addition to what we do with our resources. The big-dollar pledges that foundations can make are certainly compelling, but the ways in which we engage with our grantees deserve as much attention as what we fund. Our ability to create positive social impact through our grantmaking is directly related to our capacity to be effective and thoughtful partners with the organizations we are privileged to support.

View full blog post.

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Irvine in the News: June 2010

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Jul 01, 2010

In June 2010, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Irvine Announces $8.6 Million in New Grants

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
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| Jun 17, 2010

San Francisco The Board of Directors of The James Irvine Foundation has approved 15 grants totaling nearly $8.6 million in support of the Foundation's mission of expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. (For a list of approved grants, click here.)

Supporting Innovation Among Major Arts Institutions

Grants approved as part of the Arts program include $3.7 million to five major California arts institutions through Irvine's Arts Innovation Fund (AIF). The Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Music Center in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Symphony will each receive grants to support creative audience development approaches and/or innovative programming plans. All of the organizations are previous AIF grantees and some will receive funding to further institutionalize projects that were previously funded; others are proposing new innovations that will be developed. These grants are aligned with the goal of Irvine's Arts program, which seeks to promote a vibrant and inclusive artistic and cultural environment in California.

Establishing a Linked Learning Center

Grants approved as part of Irvine’s Youth program include a $750,000 grant to the Los Angeles Small Schools Center to establish a regional Linked Learning Center in Los Angeles. The center would support Linked Learning practice at Los Angeles Unified School District's Local District 4 while also providing specialized support to other Los Angeles area Linked Learning District Demonstration sites. The center will also identify potential new Linked Learning districts within LAUSD over the next two years. Grants made as part of Irvine's Youth program seek to increase the number of low income youth in California who complete high school on time and attain a postsecondary credential by the age of 25.

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From the President: Envisioning the New California High School

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
User is currently offline
| Jun 16, 2010

Dear Friends,

California high schools have faced extraordinary challenges this year. State budget cuts and the economic downturn have forced many schools to resort to drastic measures, including teacher layoffs and shorter school years, to balance their budgets. And in a state where students already lag their peers elsewhere in the country in academic achievement, there is concern that these measures will only put them further behind.

Yet there are reasons to be optimistic about California's educational future, including the work of some of our grantees as described in this quarter's letter. The efforts of our partners demonstrate that despite the considerable, short-term fiscal challenges we face, the state's top educational policymakers have not lost sight of longer-term goals that ultimately will have more far-reaching impact on California's young people and our economy.

Last month, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell released a report outlining a bold vision for transforming California's high schools through an approach called Linked Learning. This approach, originally known as Multiple Pathways, seeks to engage more students and prepare them for college and career by combining the best of college-prep academics, demanding technical education and hands-on work experience.

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Irvine in the News: May 2010

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Jun 01, 2010

In May 2010, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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A Conversation with Joseph Pon, Irvine’s VP for Programs

BY Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum was a Communications Officer at The James Irvine Foundation from 200
User is currently offline
| May 01, 2010

Six months ago, Joe Pon became Irvine’s vice president for programs after spending 18 years – his entire career – at one of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies, Applied Materials.

Crossing the boundary from the private to the nonprofit sector is a major career leap, but it was probably less of a stretch for Joe, whose interest in public service has always driven career decisions. He brings to Irvine extensive experience building a respected global philanthropic program, as well as many years in leadership roles with local community nonprofits.

At Applied, Joe oversaw the company’s corporate philanthropy in the 14 countries where it operates, including leading strategy and execution at the Applied Materials Foundation, a well-known Silicon Valley corporate foundation. As Applied’s vice president for global corporate affairs, Joe oversaw a staff of 50 employees in government and public affairs, marketing and communications.

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Irvine in the News: April 2010

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| May 01, 2010

In April 2010, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

Read more >>

Seven Californians Honored with 2010 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards

BY Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum was a Communications Officer at The James Irvine Foundation from 200
User is currently offline
| Apr 29, 2010

SacramentoThe James Irvine Foundation will announce and honor the recipients of the 2010 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards at an event in Sacramento today. Now in its fifth year, the awards celebrate extraordinary leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. The awards aim to publicize proven solutions that can inform policymaking and better the lives of more Californians.

The seven recipients, described below, will receive six $125,000 awards and additional support from the Foundation for their organizations. (Two co-recipients will share one of the awards.)

Following recognition by legislators on the California Assembly floor, recipients will receive their awards from elected and appointed officials at an event at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

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Aaron Pick
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