Friday, June 20, 2014

If you are a trainer or a teacher or a tutor in South Florida, consider volunteering time and expertise to the SEED in Miami

Here is a video that 60 Minutes showed three years ago.

Here's the letter that I recently sent to Eric Adler at the Seed Foundation.


Mr. Adler

I saw this video

and I read this part of your profile

 A few bright, lucky students from inner-city Baltimore were brought to St. Paul’s on academic scholarships, but Eric noticed that even with the same teachers, books, and classrooms as all the other students, the scholarship students seemed to struggle.  It was this observation that caused Eric to ask himself “What would it take for these students to be able to succeed?”  The idea of an urban, public boarding school planted itself in Eric’s mind.  Eric went on to earn an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 clients, the principal of an investment advisory firm, and an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Division of Business and Management.  He then was introduced to Raj Vinnakota, who had a similar idea about building a boarding school for at-risk children.  They teamed up to found The SEED Foundation and, in 1998, opened the first-ever SEED School in Washington, D.C. 


and now I’m hooked   …  I had heard about the SEED (I saw the 60 minutes profile) and I’m moved to contact you to offer more.

My colleague Mario Llorente and I give workshops about transforming classrooms (turning teachers into ex-lecturers, asking students to participate more).   The phrase “student-centered classroom” is the driving concept.

We are translating Dennis Littky’s 2004 book The Big Picture into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish to take these ideas to other countries.   We believe these ideas need to be read by teachers and parents in other countries in their native language so that the “change” percolates into their brains more directly than through English.

Here are links to Littky’s book  chapters 1 and 4

   If you are planning on building a library of materials that can be used by parents, I highly recommend Littky’s book because parents can get the parables that help them see the role that parents and students can play as more-active participants in the learning process.  

Three other colleagues, Dennis Yuzenas, Omar Vasile and Matt Blazek, offer their experience to your schools.   Mario and I have learned many tips from Matt and Dennis and I hope the links will encourage you to invest a bit of time in watching them explain their use of projects in the classroom.  

Omar Vasile has applied projects to the middle school classroom. 

Please feel free to use and share these materials.   The links at  and at are our materials (posters, ebooks, videos) and we gladly share them.  If you need in-person trainers for workshops or mentors by phone or skype, call on us.  We call ourselves the Visual and Active team of facilitators.  We support teachers who want to expand their capabilities.

I am going to follow this e-message with a box of our ebooks that have been printed through the Createspace program.

We are available to train your teachers at no cost.  We want to support your SEED in Miami…. and elsewhere.  

Steve McCrea

I hope you will use whatever you find helpful in these materials.

If you want to invest more in projects

if you want to have your students become “builders of a digital portfolio”
please visit to see examples of a digital portfolio

Steve McCrea

[ end of letter ]

I hope other teachers will volunteer their time and materials.

Let's support this organization

A report from 2002 is available on the SEED website.  Two of the three schools in the study have closed.   This process of building a residential charter is challenging!

The language (tense) shows that BURCS and Proctor Academies have closed

CLICK here for the report

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