- You're an innovative, socially conscious company (or you're looking to become one!) who is looking for a way to give back to the community in a unique way.
- You're constantly looking for ways to be cutting edge, and you are the one setting the trends in your industry as well as with your philanthropic efforts.
- You pride yourself on the collaborative and supportive culture you've created.
- You've grown increasingly frustrated with the opportunity gap and inequities plaguing Chicago, and you're a trailblazer who is ready to be an active part of the solution.
Founded after Ryan Banks who was shot and killed at the age of 12, Ryan Banks Academy is a 501(c)3 building Chicago's first boarding school for urban youth. We will launch with our first class of 20 7th grade students in Fall 2018.
RBA was founded by Valerie Groth, a former CPS social worker who holds advanced degrees in psychology, social work, and educational leadership. Valerie has recruited over 30 Board members and volunteers who live both locally in Chicago as well as around the globe who believe in the RBA mission and philosophy. Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board consist of nonprofit management consultants, social enterprise CEOs, individuals with urban teaching experience, individuals who have successfully founded their own educational institution, individuals who have experience with fundraising and finances, real estate professionals, and many with startup experience.
- Safety - A child is shot every 17 hours and murdered every 4 days.
- Security - There are over 48,000 homeless children in Chicago.
- Opportunity - Only 14% of 9th graders graduate college by their 25th birthday.
- Support Structure - In Chicago Public Schools, there is one social worker for every 1200 students, compared to one social worker for every 250 students at other Illinois public schools. (RBA will have a 1:20 model)
- Tech Focus - RBA's curriculum will have a STEAM-focus, which means a heavy emphasis on learning to apply Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math to solve problems in the real world.
- Learning by Working in Teams and Completing Projects - Project-based learning empowers students to assume leadership positions within the community. Coursework has real life applications, builds meaningful connections with community members, and teaches reciprocity. Students are not just encouraged to think critically, but also to expand their idea of what is possible by pushing the boundaries of their comfort zones.
- Every Child Finds Their Unique Strengths - Taking a growth mindset, students focus on cultivating their unique strengths, interests, and passions.
- We Make Learning Fun - Adventure learning will include quarterly expeditions, ongoing team building, and student involvement with the creation of a challenge course.
- We Address the Critical Social and Emotional Aspect of Every Child - Many of these students will arrive at RBA with overwhelming challenges outside of school that are likely to prohibit their success in the classroom. At RBA, learning is incorporated into daily student life:
- Mindful Monday: meditation, visualizations, mindful practice, self-awareness
- Together Tuesday: team building, trust activities, challenge course initiatives
- Wellness Wednesday: yoga, nutritional and physical health, connection to nature
- Thoughtful Thursday: problem-solving, reflection, goal setting, journaling
- Fun Friday: poetry james, music productions, theatre, comedy
Our long term plan involves new construction for our permanent location so that our students can stay at RBA 24/7, but that won't happen until 2021. We need space sooner, so that we can give deserving Chicago students an exceptional education in the meantime! Our first three years we will be a day school/boarding school hybrid model, where our students attend class only at RBA (staying with their families while in Chicago) and our school year will also include multiple longer, extended field trips which will allow our students to explore new environments and cultures.
We are requesting proposals from companies who wish to house us for classroom space for 1-3 years. We have the following space needs:
- Sep. 2018 - June 2019: For 20 7th grade students, we will need 2 classrooms plus a separate space for our Head of School (~6,000 square feet)
- Sep. 2019 - June 2020: For 60 students (7th and 8th grades), we will need 4 classrooms plus a separate space for our Head of School (~9,000 square feet)
- Sep. 2020 - June 2021: For 100 students (7th, 8th, and 9th grades), we will need 7 classrooms plus a separate space for our Head of School (~12,000 square feet)
- Space for our office staff
- Access to green space
- Access to technology room
- Access to cafeteria/cooking space
- Science lab
- Space that can be used for arts/maker space
- Space that can be used for our counseling/meditation room
- Space for PE activities
- "Get us inside, and we will get you outside!" Our students will be experts at team building and will be able to facilitate challenge ed courses for your staff members.
Benefit to you: Adventure learning in the wilderness is a big part of our model—and something that few inner city youth or downtown Chicago corporate employees rarely get the chance to do. These activities provide participants with unique problem solving opportunities for self-discovery, physical challenge, risk-taking, and group support. We would love for your employees to join us on these excursions.
- Mindfulness and meditation workshops, at your fingertips
Benefit to you: Target, Google, Ford, and Aetna have a budget just for teaching mindful- ness and meditation to their employees! Aetna finds that since implementing their program, they have saved an average of $2000 per employee on healthcare and have gained $3000 per employee in productivity! Meditation is a focal point of our curriculum, and our students (and staff) will be trained to guide your employees through mindfulness exercises.
- Tax write off
Benefit to you: Cha-ching! An increase to your bottom line.
- Mentoring opportunities:
Benefit to you: You get to the honor of being a significant part of the life of one or more of our amazing students. Plus, as a bonus: research shows that when we give to others, in return we get:
Because you know your employee refrigerator could stand a good cleaning:
- Lower blood pressure
- Greater self-esteem
- Less depression
- Lower stress levels
- Longer life
- Increased happiness
Benefit to you: Did you know that in Japan, schools do not employee janitors? Rather, students regularly chip in to help keep their school in tiptop shape. Community service is highly emphasized at RBA, and we would love to help keep your office space clean, as well.
Great PR for your company:
Benefit to you: Ryan Banks Academy has received local and national press for our innovative model and for being a solution to the issues plaguing Chicago relating to poverty, violence, and inequities in education. We want to bring you along for the ride! We have been featured everywhere from NBC to the side of a double decker bus for our ground breaking work and we would love nothing more than to talk about your amazing company everywhere we go—from our website, to marketing materials, to the next time we appear on live TV!
High tea, modeled after i.c. stars (a successful nonprofit founded by an RBA board member):
Benefit to you: We will host a weekly high tea for our students with a special guest who will be anyone from a CEO to the mayor. That means more positive (free!) exposure to these high profile individuals to your company.
Did we mention that you are changing lives?
Benefit to you: Ryan Banks Academy is not just another school. This is a bold, audacious, Elon-Musk-going-to-Mars mission we are talking about. You get to sleep better knowing you are helping to transform the lives of incredible students who will may grow up to be the scientist that cures cancer one day, AND you get to be a part of something big.
Fill in the blank based on your company needs: ___________________________________
Let's get creative! We can't wait to brainstorm with you about other ways that RBA can give back to your workplace!
- January 3rd: RFP submissions due by mail to email@example.com.
- January 4th - January 12th: RBA board of directors select top applicants to advance to final round.
- January 13th - January 19th: In person interviews and site visits.
- January 22nd: Final site selection made.*
* Later that week, time TBD: join us with some bubbly to celebrate our new partnership!
Please send any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, sharing [about helping Chicago youth] is caring! Please feel free to share this with any outstanding organizations you know who may be interested in submitting an RFP.
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