Annual Fund Campaign Brings New Hopes for Children

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

New year, new hopes: At Big Thought we relish the chance to provide high-quality learning opportunities for children living in neighborhoods with low-performing schools, crime and poverty. We enthusiastically fill the opportunity gap by bringing in-school, after-school and summer programs to more than 140,000 Dallas children all year long.

We do this with the generous support of donors, people just like you that care about shaping Big Thought’s future and the families with whom we interact. As we launch our annual fund campaign with 2016 around the corner, we thank you for your gifts.

Your gifts enrich the lives of so many young people in Dallas, young people like Emma. Emma is 9, a 4th grader at Anson Jones Elementary. Emma participated in the recent Go IT Lego Robotics class at Anson Jones, a partnership between Big Thought’s Thriving Minds After School along with 4H Tech-Wizards, Tata Consultancy Services and Southern Methodist University.

Emma was all smiles, laughter and excited participation at the Go IT class. Emma has come a long way. Hampered by a speech impediment, Emma was timid and shy. She didn’t speak a word of English. Her mom and dad came from Mexico and spoke strictly Spanish at home.

School has been a struggle for Emma; she was retained in 3rd grade due to her lack of reading skills. But after three years in Big Thought’s Thriving Minds After School program, Emma is now reading English and Spanish. She’s blossoming – participating in many class activities, acting in school plays, and dancing onstage during talent shows.

Thanks to Big Thought, Emma found her inner confidence for learning, for growing. And thanks to you Big Thought can continue to serve Emma and many more children. Join us in making 2016 a new year filled with hope for Dallas children.

Big ThoughtAnnual Fund Campaign Brings New Hopes for Children

Thank You During Thanksgiving, Year-Round

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

For us at Big Thought, the Thanksgiving spirit is year-round. So we thank you for being a BIG life changer!

Your involvement with Big Thought as a volunteer or donor is closing the opportunity gap for thousands of students across Dallas. You helped us make a big impact in 2105:

— 143,944 students served
— 95% of after-school participants showed better classroom behavior
— Summer CAMP participants started school with a meaningful advantage in reading and math

Because of you, Big Thought continues to meet the needs of more children and families every year.

We wish you a safe, warm and joyful Thanksgiving holiday. We thank you during the season, and every day of the year!

Big ThoughtThank You During Thanksgiving, Year-Round

Texas Bar Foundation Grant to Fund Creative Solutions

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

We thank the generosity of the Texas Bar Foundation. Big Thought has received a $10,000 grant from the Austin-based Texas Bar Foundation to fund Creative Solutions, a 20-year program that utilizes professional teaching artist mentors and a research-based curriculum to enhance empathy, critical thinking, teamwork skills and grit in teen probates.

“We are so grateful to the Texas Bar Foundation for their generous gift to Creative Solutions,” says Lisa Schmidt, Creative Solutions Founder. “Creative Solutions has made a huge difference in the lives of so many young people. This gift insures that we continue to keep this program strong and viable.”

Creative Solutions is a 20-year partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department that benefits from the generous support of the DCJD Juror’s Fund/Youth Services Advisory Board; Grant Thornton, LLP; the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation; Neiman Marcus; Texas Commission on the Arts – Arts Respond; the W.P. & Bulah Luse Foundation, Bank of America, N.A.; and the Elizabeth Toon Charities.

The program has revealed the potential of more than 10,000 students in the last two decades. According to the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) analysis over the past two summers: 41 percent of youth increased their social skills score by more than 5 percent; and 40 percent of youth decreased their problem behaviors score by more than 5 percent. Both figures are considered statistically significant.

The Texas Bar Foundation grant to fund Creative Solutions marks the beginning of a new relationship between the foundation and Big Thought.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitable-funded bar foundation.

Big ThoughtTexas Bar Foundation Grant to Fund Creative Solutions