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Reimagining Black Educational Communities With Big Picture Learning

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it — and with that change comes an opportunity to reimagine the fundamentals systems of modern society. The current United State’s education system is not serving everyone, according to Big Picture Learning (BPL), a nonprofit organization that specializes in personalized student-centered learning. The organization currently operates in partnership with 65 schools across 26 states.

“Big Picture Learning prides itself on nurturing students’ brilliant assets rather than problems,” said Carlos Moreno Executive Director of BPL. “They track the youth outside the school walls as well as inside because learning happens everywhere.”

BPL is gaining notice from community activists as well as celebrities.  Seven-foot-4 phenom, three-time College Player of the Year, and first selection in the 1983 NBA draft Ralph Sampson said “BPL’s success stems from BPL’s approach of teaching through listening to how their students want to learn, and the fact that America can’t expect a social impact without giving students realistic possibilities.”

“America must confess and acknowledge they do not know what’s best for our children. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to invent a process, program or curriculum, because Big Picture Learning (BPL) has proven a success for over 20 years,” said Gary Reeves of  “The Anything’s Possible Initiative” and GIVE TV.

Miles Dupree, CEO and co-founder of Human Health Services (HHS) — a corporation that provides health and wellness information and medical supplies to underserved communities — said that the company is excited to work with BPL.  “We here at Human Health believe strongly in helping those who are underserved in our community, and want to assist a dynamic organization like Big Picture Learning to do the same.”

Nancy Lieberman, Basketball Hall of Fame, 2X Olympian, BIG3 Head Coach, and 2018 Champion said, “I relate to Big Picture Learning! I was that student who needed to learn in a different way. Standardized testing promoted my weaknesses, not my strengths. It was mentors that changed my life through education, vision, support, and healthy choices. Everyone needs to be championed. Big Picture Learning is the best at doing this.”

Before COVID-19, institutionalized racism, bias, and traditional learning modalities were not preparing underserved children of color.  “Employers are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with graduate skill-sets and job readiness. Not just in tangible skills, but in soft skills like critical thinking, communication, and teamwork,” said advocates from Reverse Tide, a learning and career-advancement site.

“Big Picture Learning alternative educational services speaks to the emotional needs of under-resourced students. Plus, they complement those non-traditional teaching practices that seem to resonate with creative minded kids. Students need to feel they can contribute. Emotional confidence has to be instilled, along with their academic competence,” said actor/activist Blair Underwood.

Gary Reeves’ “Anything’s Possible Initiative,” which promotes BPL Schools on its platform is gaining support because BPL results speak for itself: 84% of BPL students go to college each year, 96% of non-college BPL alumni work full time, often in places where they interned, and 88% of BPL students remain in contact with their advisors two years after graduation.

“The most important reason Big Picture Learning is the model for this time of pandemic and is crucial as American resets the culture and the economy is, because for the near and perhaps far future we must keep distancing measures in place. The BPL online hub, makes Big Picture Learning accessible for any and all schools, with their creative online teaching modality,”  said Reeves.

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