Three community groups that are tackling real world problems and advancing the public good in neighboring cities have won Stanford’s 2016 Community Partnerships Awards. Another community organization has won the program’s inaugural Legacy Award.

Children learning tennis

Stanford’s partnership with East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring has served thousands of children through its free after-school program for K-12 students. (Image credit: Courtesy East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring)

This year’s Community Partnerships Award winners are: Challenge Success; Stanford Language Center–International Institute of the Bay Area; and Stanford University/San Francisco Unified School District. The 2016 Legacy Award winner is the East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring program.

Stanford’s Office of Public Affairs initiated the awards program to honor the valuable partnerships that exist between the university and its neighbors and to celebrate community efforts that successfully tackle real world problems and advance the public good. David Demarest, vice president for public affairs at Stanford, will present the awards at a private luncheon on May 20.

At the same luncheon, Rodolfo Dirzo, the Bing Professor in Environmental Science, will receive the Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize, which recognizes Stanford faculty who engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant and meaningful volunteer service to society.

Challenge Success

Challenge Success, a project of Stanford Graduate School of Education, works with parents, educators and youth to help students develop creativity, resilience, self-management and engagement in learning. This effort is intended to offer an alternative to the prevailing notion in so many schools of success as high academic performance, often at the cost of children’s mental and physical health, character and integrity. Currently, Challenge Success is working with 20 schools in the Bay Area, including 12 in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, to develop individualized plans to improve curriculum and assessment, homework policies, the daily school schedule, and health and wellness programs.

Stanford Language Center–International Institute of the Bay Area

Under a partnership between the Stanford Language Center and the International Institute of the Bay Area, Stanford students are paired with adults in Redwood City who are studying for the U.S. Citizenship exam in Spanish. Working with these adults, students engage on civic issues and learn more about immigrants’ lives while improving their own Spanish. The program, which was created in 2011 by Stanford Lecturer Vivian Brates, the program has grown from a summer partnership into a yearlong program. Since its creation, about 115 students have worked with more than 50 immigrants studying for the citizenship exam. In turn, the participants have shared their stories and helped Stanford students gain a better appreciation for the lives of immigrants in the Bay Area.

Stanford University/San Francisco Unified School District Partnership

Established in 2009, the Stanford University/San Francisco Unified School District Partnership brings the most advanced education research to bear on major challenges identified by the school leaders in one of California’s largest and most diverse districts. Because of the close relationship between SFUSD officials and faculty researchers from Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), projects can be launched and completed quickly, with the findings then put into action in classrooms and schools without delay. The collaboration has led to new ways of teaching, learning and administering the district, innovations that benefit its students. In turn, the insights that Graduate School of Education researchers gain from the partnership are shared with – and applied in – school systems nationwide. The partnership has finished dozens of research projects and has more than 30 now under way, as well as providing ongoing professional development programs for principals, top-level administrators, teachers and student teachers. GSE graduate students also are embedded in a district rapid-response team to assist with pressing operational and policy issues. The GSE has committed to raising $1 million a year to support the partnership, which is considered a model for translating academic scholarship on education into practice.

East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring – 2016 Legacy Award

The inaugural winner of the Legacy Award is East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT).

The new award honors a partnership that has shown continued initiative, leadership and involvement in efforts that embody the spirit of genuine partnership and benefit the overall community and that have resulted in a long-lasting legacy of commitment and collaboration between Stanford and its neighbors.

In 2004, the program won one of Stanford’s first Community Partnership Awards for its free after-school program for K-12 students from East Palo Alto. The program, founded in 1988, continues to provide one-on-one tutoring, group tennis instruction and parent coaching. It serves close to 120 students per year with about 160 Stanford volunteers. The program has also helped launch the Stanford/EPATT Golf Exchange and Project SWEEP (Stanford Women’s Educational Erging Program) to provide golf and rowing to EPATT students. The program has demonstrated a long-lasting commitment to Bay Area communities.