The opportunity gap prevents many students from testing their curiosity and discovering their potential during the critical out-of-school time hours in a safe, supportive and engaging environment.
Our Big Thought
We make imagination central to after-school and summer learning programs, creating periods of enrichment that are stimulating yet rigorous.
Our Innovative Approach
We strategically connect partners and resources across the city to address the specific educational needs of students and families. No two programs are alike because they are tailored to the communities in which we serve.
Our Impact Thriving Minds After-School
Between 2011-2015, Big Thought has served 39 sites, enrolled more than 21,500 students, engaged 6,800 parents and caregivers through our parent engagement initiatives, provided more than 5.3M student and adult hours of programming and partnered with more than 100 organizations to provide high-quality programming.
Thriving Minds Summer Camp
Thriving Minds Summer Camp launched in 2010 and has since provided programming at up to 17 elementary and 9 middle school campuses, served more than 23,00 students (K-8) and delivered close to 4M hours of programming.
Thriving Minds Summer Camp programming was offered to 8,500 students at 60 partner sites in 2014 and 2015.
Students participating in Thriving Minds Summer Camp enter the fall with a meaningful advantage in math.*
Among students who attend at least 22 days or receive 39 hours of reading instruction also enter school in the fall with a meaningful advantage in reading.*
71% of parents say that if this summer camp program were not available, their child would be at home or at a neighbor’s house (Parent/Caregiver Survey, 2014).
52% of students assessed showed positive gains in Relationship Skills competency (Devereux Student Strengths Assessment, 2014).
Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students’ Learning Opportunities and Outcomes, 2014, The Rand Corporation.
Thriving Minds contact: James Adams, Programs Manager [email protected]or 469-621-8992
Thriving Minds After School is supported in part by: The Pollock Foundation; Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust; City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; Pizza Hut/YUM! Brands; The David M. Crowley Foundation; The Wallace Foundation; Target Corporation; Sid W. Richardson Foundation; Best Buy; AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy; Sammons Corporation; and Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation.
Thriving Minds at Village Oaks also receives funding generously provided by: Rees-Jones Foundation, The Hillcrest Foundation
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)
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