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John Legend Joins Nonprofit to Help Launch Personalized Learning Program

John Legend Joins New Non Profit to Launch Reimagine Learning

Artist John Legend joined nonprofit philanthropy fund New Profit and WME | IMG in the promotion of a new initiative, Reimagine Learning.

According to a press release, the group was joined by more than 300 New York education advocates, social entrepreneurs and artists to launch the new initiative.

Reimagine Learning is an initiative designed to “support schools and communities in the creation of learning environments that unleash individual promise and creativity in all children,” according to a press release. It's mission, according to the release is to “bring new energy to the movement to revitalize American education."

"The core of the effort is to expand personalized learning approaches that can help all students to identify their strengths and succeed," the release said. "This initiative is also committed to making a difference in the lives of millions of students who may be marginalized or disengaged in school because of learning and attention issues or social emotional issues."

“I am a successful social entrepreneur and leader, said Vanessa Kirsch, founder and CEO of New Profit at the launch. “And I am also dyslexic..."

Over the past 15 years, I have worked with leading organizations in education reform to try to redesign the system. I truly thought we’d really moved the needle – but I’ve watched my beautiful 12 year old daughter, Mirabelle, who is a dyslexic like myself, struggle in this system and begin to lose her confidence and sense of potential. We were not doing enough to ensure that this system worked for all kids. This was the inspiration behind New Profit’s launch of what has become our Reimagine Learning network.

According to the press release, “Kirsch announced the creation of a $50M fund which has raised $30M to provide resources to educators, social entrepreneurs and researchers who are doing cutting edge work to advance personalized learning.”

The official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week event featured a powerful performance by Grammy-winning artist and education advocate John Legend, a presentation by fashion brand Public School, a performance from poet LeDerick Horne, and inspired remarks about education from Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank. The event also featured the initiative’s nonprofit partners including: Understood.org, MIT Media Lab, Peace First, Eye to Eye and Youthbuild USA. An anonymous donor agreed to match every dollar raised during the evening up to $100,000 towards which John Legend pledged $25,000.

“Our education system should exist to inspire, not simply to manage our kids... Our goal is to build a movement of educators dedicated to inspiring innovation and learning so that our system of education truly reflects the world we live in today,” artist John Legend. “Let’s stop funneling our young people through the system and start letting them discover the power and uniqueness of their own voice.”

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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