We are excited to introduce a new series on the Big Thought blog from the perspective of an alumnus from our youth development programs. Chris has been participating in Creative Solutions for several years, helped create a new online platform for youth voice called We the Person, served as an AmeriCorps intern during the summer, and was part of the inaugural Artivism performing arts show this past year. Stay tuned for more of his articles in the future, and get to know him better in this first post…
Big ThoughtMeet Chris: Youth Development Correspondent
Launched in October 2000 by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event with a special focus on afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and the neighborhoods where we serve.
Big ThoughtCelebrate Lights On Afterschool During the Week of October 26, 2017
Big Thought and Dallas ISD will be part of a national effort to help children in six communities gain greater opportunities for social and emotional learning and to understand how schools and out-of-school-time providers can work together to align and improve those opportunities
Big ThoughtBig Thought and Dallas Independent School District to Receive Wallace Foundation Grant to Foster Children’s Social and Emotional Learning
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that mirrors Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice, like Big Thought (hint hint).
Every item available for purchase on www.amazon.com is also available on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) at the same price. Eligible products will be marked as “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Ready to shop? Follow the instructions below and happy shopping!
Step 1) Visit smile.amazon.com and sign in
Step 2) Search and Select Big Thought as your charity of choice
After you’ve signed into AmazonSmile, you’ll be prompted to search for a charity. Type in “Big Thought”
Step 3) Start Shopping!
Bookmark http://smile.amazon.com and use this link every time you make a purchase from Amazon. After you’ve selected a charity, the functionality will be the same, but now Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to Big Thought!
Step 4) Sharing is Caring
Connect your social networks (Facebook and Twitter) so you can share with your friends!
Big ThoughtHow to Support Big Thought with AmazonSmile
The Neighborhood Resource Initiative (NRI) offers partner organizations the opportunity to submit a proposal to receive resources to enhance existing or new summer programming to be connected with Dallas City of Learning during the summer. Resources include but are not limited to: Financial, Curriculum, Transportation, Professional Development and Facilities. Proposals were reviewed and scored on a rolling basis by an outside Advisory Committee.
We asked that proposals address these three main components:
1) target one or more of the Neighborhood Plus, Neighbor Up or Grow South areas,
2) incorporate social-emotional learning
3) help students access high-quality experiences.
Big Thought was proud to convene our Summer 2017 NRI grant recipients for an orientation last week at Dallas Contemporary.
As a mindfulness exercise, we asked our partners to tell us what brings them to this work. Here are some of the things they had to say!
Knowing that I have changed many people’s lives for the better
Ability to affect a change in the children and their families’ lives in a meaningful way
I do what I do to give back and expose people to opportunities they may not normally see
A higher calling/purpose
Serving the students in the community and seeing lives changed in a positive manner
Jesus, Family, Children
Passion. Way of giving back to my community and being a positive influence
Make our community better! To be the solution and not the problem!
I am here to share my talents and gifts with others. I want to make the economic playing field fair by making my students become bilingual or trilingual
To inspire, to advocate, to education, to challenge myself & others
The look in the children’s eyes when they realize they have learned something new!
Desire to share God’s love with youth and families providing access to services, education, and support in various areas of need
Legacy responsibility/Knowledge of self & history
Knowing kids have potential that is lost because they don’t have the connections or resources to be the greatness that is within them
Passionate about the art form of jazz and trying to keep alive with the youth of today
The love and respect of young people
Impact youth + staff that work for me
My childhood upbringing
To impact the lives of young students + parents, introduce to technology industry and STEM
The need to help people. The gifts I have to help them
I enjoy the gift & reward of positively impacting someone else’s life
To put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all
This is my life’s work. I believe art can change lives and make the world better
My momma brought me to this work – to treat others with love + kindness, to engage with others in service + joy, to embrace others in pain + give them hope
To spread awareness of issues beyond our narrow sphere – to call people to action & empower them to make a difference
Love for learning and sharing of knowledge
Being able to show kids a greater educational opportunity
Because I have a passion and purpose to help children discover their “best self”
We are so excited for this summer and to be a part of the amazing work that will be happening in our own city of learning!
Big ThoughtDallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative
Big Thought is presented with the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Art Education. Given by the Texas Cultural Trust, the TMA Awards celebrate Texans who have enriched the unique culture of Texas. (2013)
Big Thought celebrates its 25th anniversary. President/CEO, Gigi Antoni, co-authors More than the sum of its parts: Collaboration & Sustainability in Arts Education, with Thomas Wolf. (2012)
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities selects Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni as a “Champion of Change,” serving on a White House panel highlighting best practices in arts education. (2011)
The Wallace Foundation and RAND Corporation select Dallas & Big Thought’s Thriving Minds summer camp program to participate in a three-year longitudinal study on summer learning loss tracking the impact of comprehensive summer programs on the academic success of incoming fourth graders in six U.S. cities. (2011)
The trustees of Communities Foundation of Texas, who oversee the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, award a $2-million challenge grant to Big Thought to build a coordinated system upon the framework of its out-of-school-time initiative, Thriving Minds. (2010)
The Wallace Foundation awards Big Thought an $8M grant to plan and implement a citywide creative learning system and renews its commitment with a four-year $4.3M gift to continue implementation. (2010, 2005)
The Texas Education Agency awards three five-year grants to manage Big Thought’s Thriving Minds After-School program in 33 Dallas ISD schools. (2010, 2009, 2008)
Americans for the Arts presents Big Thought with the Arts Education Award given annually to the organization identified as the best in arts education program design, execution, as well as leadership. (2009)
Big Thought is selected by the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee to design and execute the largest-ever youth-education program for the NFL in conjunction with Super Bowl XLV. (2009)
Big Thought publishes More Than Measuring outlining the organization’s philosophy and assessment. (2007)
The U.S. Department of Education awards a $1.1 million Model Development and Dissemination Grant to support Big Thought’s ArtsPartners National Model and provides an additional $1 million grant to train arts specialists as arts integration resources to strengthen the program. (2006, 2003)
Big Thought receives the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Award. (2004)
The Ford Foundation awards Big Thought grants to develop a family learning and parent advocacy component as part of the Dallas ArtsPartners program (2003)