For the past eight years, Franklin’s Opus has been a national leader in conducting professional development programs for teachers. We believe, in contrast to the conventional wisdom in modern educational circles, that teachers must know the content of what they teach. At Franklin’s Opus we train teachers to go beyond the textbook, to do real research on their own and to challenge the accepted narrative. “Doing” history in this way makes teachers masters of their subjects and inspires them about what they are teaching. Knowledgeable, inspired teachers make for knowledgeable, inspired students.
Franklin’s Opus’ approach has been verified by independent education specialists to work. We have literally hundreds of pages of data that show that teacher and student performance dramatically improves after training by Franklin’s Opus. And of course, we have the testimonials of scores of teachers with whom we have worked, such as the teacher who thanked us for “reigniting the spark to teach.”
From high demand for cross-curricular services, Franklin’ Opus has decided to expand outreach to writing grants and providing services in other disciplines. Franklin’s Opus’ inspiration comes from Benjamin Franklin, a truly renaissance man of the Enlightenment Era. Franklin’s Opus more expanded mission will include programs in other disciplines such as English Language Arts and Reading, as the bedrock foundation of all other disciplines. The ability to read is paramount for students to begin to study their history, culture, and the civic duties of a responsible American citizen. Reading is also critical for students comprehend science and even mathematics. In order for a student to become a truly productive and contributing member of modern American society, he or she must be able to read at a proficient level.
I am excited to be leading Franklin’s Opus into its ninth year of making a difference in the educational life of America.
Please check back here for more information on new programming for teachers, students, and the general public.
Orlando M. Rivera, J.D.
21st Century Community Learning Centers Afterschool Grants
Up to $900,000.00
Deadline April 24, 2015
The purpose of the Franklin’s Opus’ Ohio 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) afterschool program is to increase the reading and mathematics proficiency of Ohio students with state of the art, scientifically-based methods, over a three year period. Students require motivation to find relevance in studies. Many students, especially those from lower socio-economic communities, live for the present, with little concern for the future. Giving students an immediate purpose for their studies greatly increases their interest in school and can be used to help them appreciate preparing for the future. Students will begin to comprehend the wisdom of delayed gratification in exchange of achieving goals.
Many, if not most, students are infatuated with various sports; whether, it’s the excitement of the recent Buckeye National Championship, or the thrill of the Ohio Bobcats girls taking the MAC, or LeBron James bringing winning basketball back to Cleveland. Often, students see themselves as one-day turning a double play for a Reds’ victory, dropping in a three-pointer to help the Cavs cement the division crown, or picking off a deep pass to protect the Browns’ or Bengals’ lead late in the 4th quarter. Youth identify with their sports heroes and seek to emulate them. Sports can be that motivating factor for increased student achievement, if we can connect the students’ desire for fame and glory with the practical preparation needed for a successful future.
We will show teachers and coaches serving in afterschool programs how to excite students about their school work and give them a purpose to perform. With the 3D Markerless Motion Analysis Software, teachers and coaches will be able to film students preforming the normal movements of any particular sport, so they will be able to analyze the students’ motion and show them what changes they will need to make and practice in order to increase performance. For example, students who chose to play golf will be able to know the feel of a perfect swing (in biomechanics terms) and then generate a huge margin of safety around this swing through fitness.
Many professional and Olympic athletes who use 3D marked-based systems use darkened rooms that alter the athlete’s balance, and they do not produce the actual movements the body. Players move differently during a game than they do in mocap suits. Markers are not the proper method to measure motion. The actual joint is where we get proper measurement. Using markerless motion, teachers and coaches capture a proper analysis. Coaches can analyze talent in the district and get an instant look into the future of the students’ athletic potential, including resistance to injury. The numbers from the system also guides on how to achieve general fitness. The software supports 57 sports including rugby, soccer and swimming.
In the Franklin’s Opus’ CCLC program, students will first be asked to write an essay explaining their goals in a particular sport or athletic activity. They will be asked where they think they will be at a particular age. Students will be told that this essay is the beginning of the plan to make them into a superior athlete, and the essay will become part of a portfolio that will track, record their progress and open opportunities for them. We show teachers, coaches, and aides how to closely follow the New Ohio Learning Standards in the afterschool program that will transcend into improved student classroom perform. By reflecting on the program and following teacher provided reflection points, students will begin to see how the CCLC program will give them advantage over their peers in other schools, or other programs. Students will see achievement and will begin to predict future achieve based on planned activities. They will begin to think in the future tense and work for future rewards. Even the nonathletic students will see how they can become active, healthy, and athletic by following the program. Achievable goals are important in plan for success.
Once students compose their essay, they will decide what sports or athletic activities they are going to pursue. They will participate in the 3D Markerless Motion Analysis to monitor the actions and motions they will begin to methodically improve. This Markerless software is a vast improvement over the Marker version which can only track markers placed on an athlete’s body and is filmed in a dark environment. The software monitors all motion and can record the actual joint movement. The filming is done in a natural environment, whether on a field hockey, a soccer, football, soft/baseball field or on a basketball court. Students are monitored making natural movements in natural environments.
Once the students have their data, they will be taught how to analyze it and using mathematical formulas. They will create plans to transform their motions to more successful movements, using both mathematical and writing skills. They will improve golf swings, tennis backhands, free-throw percentages, the spiral on the football etc. Once the students have the data and have created a plan, they will follow the plan to improve their performance and record their progress. They will submit monthly reports and semester benchmarks to record improvements in their performance and predict future accomplishments.
Students will also look to maintain the proper height-weight balance for they age and build. Teachers and coaches will weigh the students and have them research what their proper weight should be, and they will set goals for that weight. Students will research the types of food that will help them most with their particular sports and keep a balanced diet with the proper amounts of sodium, sugar, etc. They will learn how to record their calorie intake and the proper amount of activity they will need to arrive at the desired weight, whether they have to lose weight, or build up bulk to participate at an optimum level. They will research and tract that physical exercise to help achieve their goals. Some students will participate in a lot of cardio-activities, other older students may take up weight training. They will use this data as part of their reports and predictions.
Students will also learn how to research the sport they want to excel in. They will study skills, plays, and methods that will help them improve their performance. They will write periodic plans and reviews on how they plan to implement these various improvements in their performance. They will also read biographies of modern or past sports figures that they admire for inspiration and use their hero’s success as models to emulate. After they read the biographies, they will write book reviews using critical thinking skills required by the New Ohio Learning Standards.
To further understand their sports, students will write letters to sports figures that they have read about, or just admire. Students will learn how to ask pertinent questions that will help them to further plan or their future participation in the sports of their choice. Many times, athletes, especially non-superstar athletes, have the time to enter letter or email discussions with students seeking guidance. We want to show students how they can reach out to experts in a field to get advice.
Once the students are familiar with researching the skills they need to master in their sports and can properly write inquiring letters to their heroes and read books about the lives of various sports figures, teachers will show them how to research other occupations that are associated with the sports industry. As students get older, some may determine that they are not going to be pursuing sports in college, but may want to become in involved in other segments of the sports industry; whether it’s in sales, sports medicine, marketing, video, broadcasting, sports therapy, etc.
Through all the research, planning, charting, and predicting. students will be equipped to plan for the future. They will appreciate cause and effect and the value of exploring future possibilities. Teachers will help them make those plans. Students will learn that they must maintain good grades to be admitted into college, and that they will be able to use their athletic experiences to pursue scholarships. Through the methods obtained in the CCLC program, students will learn they can also tract their grades and begin to make plans to achieve the academic levels they want to accomplish. As students mature and start to look at other occupational possibilities outside of athletic participation, they will first look to associated industries and then with their planning and research skills they will be able to research and explore other scholastic and occupational possibilities. Students need to find relevance in their studies so they can begin to move from the present-tense to the future-tense. This program will help them find that relevance.
Information about the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant can be found at the following website:
Contact grant information: Paula Burt at (858) 345-0863
Contact: Franklin’s Opus at (215) 558-2363