Aspen Academy, a national leader in innovative and transformative education and the nation’s first integrated PreK-8th grade leadership and entrepreneurial development program, announced the new FutureHolders.org online learning platform for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Vetted in the classroom and developed by educators for educators, Future Holders addresses the unmet student needs for authentic, intentional, consistent opportunities to grow, learn, and lead.
The platform features more than 2,000 relevant, engaging lessons that help students discover their gifts, passions and curiosity with academic content in five key areas:
- Financial acumen
- Entrepreneurial mindset
- Cultural competency
- Social-emotional learning
- Character and leadership development
“This spring, school changed forever, yet Future Holders acknowledges students have needed more from their education long before the pandemic,” said Katie Becker, executive director, Future Holders, and a member of the Aspen Academy team. “We developed this curriculum to help kids become students, to love learning and take agency in it, and to support those involved in a child’s education — whether that be a school, a teacher, a parent or a pod.”
Written for K-12 students, the Future Holders curricula can be applied and adapted regardless of school setting:
- AT SCHOOL: For schools seeking new resources that address unmet student needs, the Future Holders platform can be leveraged in every class with recommendations for weekly assignments that cultivate connection
- IN A CLASS: Teachers can meet the evolving needs of their individual classrooms with a variety of lessons easily adapted for their specific grade, class and kids, creating a space to find confidence in their ideas
- WHILE AT HOME: Parents seeking enriching opportunities to engage their children in meaningful conversations that help uncover their gifts and passions
- WITH A POD: A growing contingent of neighborhoods and communities are seeking smaller, alternative environments for the in-person learning kids crave, which Future Holders can support with pathways for collaboration, exposure to new and different ideas, and opportunities to lead and be led
- VIA A GRANDPARENT OR LOVED ONE: The importance of role models and adult investment in children is well documented. High school and college students mentoring younger students also helps students consider directions for their future — from how they engage with classmates to extracurriculars to jobs they want to pursue or create. Future Holders offers unique ways for kids to engage with role models in their lives.
“While the focus of Future Holders is on student needs, there is an unprecedented need for affordable, accessible resources that schools and teachers can easily employ,” Kristina Scala, founder, president and head of school, Aspen Academy, where much of the Future Holders curricula was developed in the classroom. “Education often focuses on academic mastery, to the peril of students who will be our nation’s future leaders and must have deep mastery of self. Future Holders meets these challenges head on with curricula vetted in the classroom over several years, and develops children personally, physically, socially and intellectually to become great citizens.”
Based on core curricula and meeting state education standards, Future Holders exists to eliminate the barriers preventing students from developing critical life-ready skills.
In testing, Future Holders consistently delivered impacts toward the immediate needs of students, including:
- 41 percent average SEL content post-test growth
- 72 percent of Future Holders students pass financial literacy exam (the U.S. average is 33 percent)
- More than 300 student-businesses were launched
- 100 percent of faculty who used Future Holders named creativity as the No. 1 outcome
- More than 600 students completed the programs
- 96 percent of Future Holders participants took on leadership opportunities outside the classroom
“Future Holders is a blended educational offering that provides just the right mix of resources, curricula and teacher interaction through an online ecosystem that is unique in the marketplace,” said Tim Taylor, co-founder and president, America Succeeds and a board member at Aspen Academy. “This is an extraordinary tool that blends the knowledge, skills and abilities students will need to succeed in a rapidly changing world. In an era of distance learning and remote settings, we cannot lose sight of the importance physical interaction and exchange of ideas have on the development of young people.”
Future Holders provides a variety of service offerings and prices based on usage and environment. Families, pods and teachers can access the platform for as little as $6.99 per month, and schools and districts can provide the platform to their community based on size and scale. Future Holders also provides implementation, training, consulting and speaking.
“As much uncertainty there can be in our world, the importance of a robust love for learning is unconditional, unwavering, and critical to the success of our kids and communities as we face a future rife with new jobs, new skills and new ways of thinking,” said Becker. “The Future Holders community passionately pursues this horizon, one step at a time, by supporting students in becoming the learners and leaders they are meant to be.”
HR Technology News: TecHRseries Interview with Iain Moffat, Chief Global Officer at People First