Dear Friends, FLAME! Here at GlassRoots, flame is both a tool for personal transformation and a transformational program for teens.
Our FLAME program is unique; we engage young people at risk of failing or dropping out of high school and whose prospects and outlook for the future are bleak. Whether they are coping with learning differences, struggling with issues of identity, or pregnant or parenting, success in our studios impresses upon these teens that they matter, and that if they work hard, there is no limit to what they can achieve. Watch a video about this program here.
Jonathan, pictured above, is currently a student at an alternative high school here in Newark; a junior who struggled to keep up at a traditional school, he’s now in a program geared to offer instruction at a pace suited for him, a self-described visual, hands-on learner. As part of his educational program, he spends eight hours a week in our studios in our FLAME program.
GlassRoots knows that investment in real work experience for vulnerable youth can improve their understanding of the value of education, increase their self-esteem and ambition, while increasing prospects for future employment, whether they are heading to higher education following secondary school or not.
The innovation of teaching entrepreneurship entirely through the practical application of hands-on creative work with glass epitomizes GlassRoots’ theory of change. In FLAME, as with all of our programs, we use the uniquely engaging medium of molten glass to replace students’ risky behaviors with focus and
teamwork and to replace their disengagement with critical thinking, problem solving, communication, self-determination, and leadership.
Our setting is entirely unlike any learning environment these students have encountered previously: it is raw and industrial, it has open fire and sharp tools, and it demands their maturity and respect. And it’s where they earn ours.
Jonathan recently designed and created the prototype for a commission, which was approved by our customer. The 'E' in FLAME stands for entrepreneurship, and, for our students, working with GlassRoots models a business using glass art to generate earned income. Originally our client wanted only 5 awards, but after seeing the prototype, and realizing it was made by a student, they ordered 27 awards! Jonathan’s success was our success.
While Jonathon felt good knowing he helped GlassRoots bring in earned income, he continues to create his own work at our studio. He’s most proud of his night lights – learning new technique and understanding how to create art and products.
Our students work hard. In assessing their skills post-program, students reported the highest gain in skills in three areas: goal setting, financial management and marketing & selling. They also reported significant increases in decision making, planning & research and communication skills, both oral and written.
Our FLAME program is intensive, it is personal, it is impactful. It is also expensive. None of our students could participate if they had to pay the full $4500 fee.
This is why we ask for your support!
We are creating significant outcomes for these students. This investment in their futures will pay dividends; not only does it save society from having to pay for negative consequences of disengagement – it tells these young people we believe in them and in their futures.
Tell Jonathan you believe in him and our programs with
your contribution today!
Jonathan says that he can now channel his energy differently. “Ideas flow into work that I’m making. I’m calmer, and I can plan for my future.” He talked about making a mosaic – taking broken glass, exerting hard work and effort, putting the pieces together – creating something new.
Creating something new. It happens every day here at GlassRoots.
Your gift will directly fund meaningful programs like FLAME this year.
Please make your gift today.
With our great thanks,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
P.S. Learn more about awards and commissions, like the one Jonathan designed here.
We like to share our memories with you! Do you have 2018 GlassRoots memories? Share them here!
We think donor transparency is important.
Fact 1: We want to give our students the most impactful experience, providing them with information, skills, safety, real-life experience and new vision for their future.
Fact 2: Creating Glass Art, purchasing supplies and maintaining a fully functioning studio is expensive.
Fact 3: Most of our students could not afford to pay the full cost of our programs.
So, we ask you for a lot.
We ask you to trust that our programs are making a difference.
We ask you to believe that our students can benefit from the time they’re here at GlassRoots.
We ask you to make their experiences possible through your gifts.
So why do we focus on transparency? Well, you wouldn’t want to give to an organization that spends 50% of their donations on break room snacks, would you? You expect that donations that you give go toward helping those that we serve, doing the work we say we’ll do. We are honest about where the dollars actually go and we report that information.
And, while we think of transparency as just being about financials, and although this is important, overall transparency involves a whole lot more. Being transparent means that we are willing and able to distribute critical data about all aspects of our operations.
To that end, we
We want to connect you to GlassRoots, and we know that connection is often created through shared values. Shared values, such as strong ethics, honesty, fiscal responsibility, and the propensity for collaboration are all evident we are transparent.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this topic, or about GlassRoots in general.
Barbara Heisler, CEO
PS. As you can see, Guidestar thinks we're doing well with our transparency - awarding us a 2018 Gold-Level Seal of Transparency!
Each year at this time we take stock and give thanks for all we've been able to accomplish throughout the year with your help. At GlassRoots, we’re grateful for your support that continues to help us grow, surpass goals, and transform lives.
We issued our annual evaluation report documenting our work (online here), for our third full year of our data collection and analysis. The results of our evaluation efforts continue to inform our policies, practices and programming choices. Our data, both the quantifiable and anecdotal, shows that GlassRoots’ programming for youth and young adults is impactful and achieving program objectives, as evidenced in, among other measurement; high scores for program satisfaction, intent to recommend our programming to others, returning students, and participants stating an intent to return to GlassRoots for more classes or workshops.
We have created new program partnerships enabling us to serve more students in our unique youth entrepreneurship programs this year. Over the past several years we have been actively working to build new partnerships throughout the Newark and our region and we’re seeing the fruit of these efforts. The number of students we serve and the program hours offered continues to grow.
We have reported fabulous successes of the students in our post high school programs, those programs introduced within the past several years to meet newly identified community needs. Without a doubt GlassRoots programs are helping students accomplish great things.
And, finally, we're recognizing that this will be our last full year in this space, which has served us so well, but which we have outgrown. At this time next year we'll be offering our programs in our new space not too far down the street.
All of this is possible because you support us. You make it possible for our amazing staff (and they are absolutely amazing!) to make a difference every day with the students we serve. Your funding and support keep our doors open, our furnace lit, and creativity flowing.
So, as the year ends, we once again hope you’ll consider a gift to GlassRoots to further expand our reach! Your gifts serve all of our students -- young people who catch the spark during class trips to our studios or residency programs with our teaching artists, high school youth in our YES! Youth Entrepreneurship programs, young adults in our Bead Shop and Fellowship programs, and differently-abled adults who workshop in our studios.
And, always, our studios are open for your visits - to create, shop, or to simply stop stop in. Until you do, our videos can bring our students and programs to you!
We appreciate your consideration!
From our studios to your home, our staff and board wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and joy in the New Year,
PS. We'll be closed from December 24 through 2019 New Year's Day, but we will acknowledge any gifts received during this time as 2018 gifts (for tax purposes.)