Press Release, January 2016

Colleen Jones, the President of Curriculum Concepts International, has announced that the BLAC Foundation has joined forces with the CCI team in its plans to develop a technology-based solution to the crisis in education in the developing world. The effort is an initiative of the Global X Learning Prize competition announced in 2014 by Peter Diamandis, the X Prize chairman.

CCI is an official registered X Prize team that is competing with other teams to create a software-based tablet solution that will empower children to autonomously learn to read, write, and master basic arithmetic.  The winning entry will be provided at no cost to educators around the world.

Dr. Edward Powe, President and Founder of the BLAC Foundation, will provide linguistic direction for the team’s effort, working closely with CCI programmers and writers.  Dr. Powe has studied 18 different languages and has an MA in linguistics well as a Ph.D in African languages and literature. He has travelled extensively throughout Africa, South and Central America, the South Pacific, and Asia.

Dr. Powe stated that he greatly welcomes the opportunity to participate in the creation of this critical literacy program because it is totally consistent with the BLAC Foundation’s mission of encouraging people worldwide to help create a brighter future for themselves and others.  Moreover, he added, “The ability to read and write in one’s own language is integral to future success in life.”

About the BLAC Foundation… Among its many other activities, the BLAC Foundation has provided micro-education grants to selected students around the world and plans to greatly expand that program in 2016.  In 2008 the Foundation was a recipient of a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to co-develop with CCI and Columbia University an educational program about the early African experience in New York. This program is now an integral part of the NYC public school curriculum.

About Curriculum Concepts…For more than thirty years, Curriculum Concepts International has created a wide-range of instructional programs to develop the reading, English language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and second-language skills of students at all grade levels, from pre-kindergarten through college. CCI has developed these programs for the nation’s largest educational publishers, while following the guidelines of state and district standards, as well as national educational research.  All of the CCI-developed programs have listed in the local, district, state, and national adoptions for which they were created.

Ms. Jones and members of the project team plan to visit Tanzania in February to meet with key educators, children, community leaders and Swahili teachers to obtain their input concerning the project.  Anyone interested in supporting the development of the CCI/BLAC Foundation XPrize endeavor can access the Foundation’s website, www.blacfoundation.org, and follow the instructions for making a donation.

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