Learn Fresh Education Co.

Philadelphia, PA   |  http://www.learnfresh.org

Mission

We improve engagement and achievement through innovative learning experiences, leveraging students’ passion points to inspire their STEM and social-emotional learning. Through our work, we explicitly strive to reach students who have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields, specifically girls, students of color, and students from low-income communities.

Ruling year info

2012

CEO & Co-Founder

Nick Monzi

Main address

218 Arch St #514

Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-1059457

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Community Coalitions (S21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn Fresh seeks to combat racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps in math and STEM subjects among elementary and middle school students across the country. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), in 2017, 60 percent of fourth grade students nationwide were not proficient in mathematics, a number that jumped to 67 percent for eighth graders. The achievement gaps along racial lines are stark: while 56 percent of White eighth graders were not proficient, 80 percent of Hispanic eighth graders and a massive 87 percent of Black eighth graders were not proficient. These students are more likely to attend schools with fewer resources and to face external challenges to academic achievement, including greater levels of stress and less exposure to the diverse array of language and inquiry that helps drive cognitive development at an early age.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

NBA Math Hoops

NBA Math Hoops is a simulated-basketball board game, curriculum, and community experience that uses basketball as a hook to engage students with fundamental math and social-emotional learning. The NBA Math Hoops board game uses the real statistics of NBA and WNBA players to deliver high-volume repetition of core math operations in a fun, fast-paced, and challenging environment.

We train teachers to lead weekly sessions, in which students play the game and explore various math-related themes through the NBA Math Hoops curriculum, which is mapped to Common Core standards and the CASEL framework for social-emotional learning. Special program events offer unique STEM learning activities and experiences with NBA players, and we host Regional Championship events in each city at the conclusion of the season. In addition, a group of students from program sites across the country attend the NBA Math Hoops National Championship, a three-day long immersive competition and STEM learning experience.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

The Broncos First and 10 experience is centered on a board game and 12-week curriculum, which is built to engage 5-8th grade students through the game of football and the statistics of the Denver Broncos’ legendary Super Bowl Championship teams. Participating students sign sportsmanship contracts, draft a team, compete in “football” games on the game board, and challenge their peers for the championship title, all while developing fundamental math skills.

As a member of the Broncos First and 10 community, educators enjoy an annual in-person training experience, unlimited games and classroom materials, and special student incentives from the Denver Broncos and Learn Fresh. The top participating students from each site are also invited to attend an annual Broncos First and 10 Championship, hosted at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. For the very best students and educators, there is also an opportunity to earn an expenses-paid trip to the annual Learn Fresh National Championship weekend!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

The Athletics Math Hits experience is centered around a board game and 12-piece curriculum that engages 4-6th grade students through the game of baseball and the statistics of the Oakland Athletics’ most legendary players. Participating students sign sportsmanship contracts, draft a team, compete in “baseball” games on the game board, and challenge their peers for the championship title, all while developing fundamental math and social-emotional skills.

As a member of the Athletics Math Hits community, educators enjoy an annual in-person training experience, unlimited games and classroom materials, and special student incentives from the Oakland Athletics and Learn Fresh. The top participating students from each site are also invited to attend an annual Athletics Math Hits Championship, hosted by the Oakland A’s. For the very best students and educators, there is also an opportunity to earn an expenses-paid trip to the annual Learn Fresh National Championship weekend!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Accreditations

STEM.org 2022

Awards

Changemakers for Children Fellowship 2020

Gratitude Network

Gold Award, North America 2020

Reimagine Education

Silver Award, Cultivating Curiosity 2020

Reimagine Education

Finalist 2021

Elevate Prize

Finalist 2021

American Express NGen Leadership Award

Affiliations & memberships

Beyond Sport Sport and STEM Alliance 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average improvement in student evaluation scores from pre-test to post-test (%)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

NBA Math Hoops

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Data collected from NBA Math Hoops pre- and post- test evaluations and analyzed by American Institutes of Research and WestEd; change is consistent across all demographic groups.

Percentage of students demonstrating increased enthusiasm and engagement in math (%)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

NBA Math Hoops

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measured as a percentage of total participating students.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of students demonstrating improved ability to work in teams (%)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measured as a percentage of total participating students.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Learn Fresh seeks to boost student engagement and achievement through the creation and distribution of innovative, fun, and effective educational tools and programs. We specifically aim to serve low-income students and students of color across the United States, and seek out partners who explicitly share our focus. Our programs help to reduce racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps by improving students' core math and STEM skills and social emotional skills, and providing them with and understanding of the importance of math in the real world, their awareness of STEM-related careers, and their role as members of their communities. Our programs specifically aim to create the following outcomes for students: 1) Improved math scores, understanding of math concepts, and increased readiness for Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and math at the high school level; 2) improved social emotional skills and ability to work as part of a team; 3) improved attitudes towards learning and increased engagement in the learning process 4) improved understanding of the importance of math in the real world and awareness of STEM-related careers; 5) improved understanding of their role as members of their communities.

Learn Fresh programs and experiences include NBA Math Hoops, Math Hits, STEM Goals, the Youth Assist Tracker Challenge, and the Learn Fresh Fellowship for Culturally Inclusive Education. All program models have combined to serve over 500,000 low-income students and students of color in grades 3–8 in partnership with over 30 professional sports teams and leagues, and countless local implementation partners across the United States. Through these programs, we help to improve students' achievement and understanding of fundamental STEM concepts, increase engagement in the learning process, and better prepare students for STEM courses at the high school level. We provide these programs at no cost to students, teachers, schools, and afterschool programs, including all physical materials and program experiences, such as the Regional and National Championship experiences. We are dedicated to keeping our programs free to low cost because many of the students in our target demographic attend schools and districts that lack resources for basic supplies, much less supplemental programs; these are the conditions that perpetuate achievement gaps in the first place.

Programming takes place at schools and program sites around a given city, where an educator leads 20-30 students through weekly sessions. In each session, students compete and explore various STEM-related themes inherent to the sport through each program's curriculum, all of which are mapped to Common Core standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. Throughout the season, educators receive consistent support at in-person trainings and through the Learn Fresh Coaches Association (LFCA), an online portal that allows educators to communicate efficiently with our staff and share resources and best practices with other educators. At the conclusion of each season, we host Regional Championship events in each city, in addition to the NBA Math Hoops National Championship event, featuring 20 highly-engaged students from partner programs across the country.

The community program model, which leverages partnerships with our pro franchise partners, is a key component to the experience for our educators and students. Teams provide exposure, brand capital, limited funding, and in-kind support for program implementation and events such as training and championship tournaments. At the start of each school year, we host training sessions at team facilities, where we guide educators through all of the program's components and prepare them to lead their students through the experience. To conclude the season, our team partners host each region's most engaged students for a special championship experience.

We are well equipped to carry out the goals of the organization. Using the community program model, we have spent the past 6 years scaling NBA Math Hoops into over 35 cities and in partnership with 25 pro teams across the country. At the end of the 2019-20 school year, Learn Fresh programming was serving over 100,000 students on a weekly basis. We have continuously improved the program components and implementation strategy with each season, and this refinement has allowed us to retain over 95 percent of all organizations that have participated in Learn Fresh programs.

Three partnerships form the core of this community program model, providing various capacities to the overall operation: A royalty-free license from the NBA/NBPA allows us to use player images and likenesses at no cost—an essential component to the authenticity of the NBA Math Hoops brand. Another royalty-free license from Getty Images allows us to use their images at no cost on all program materials. Lastly, Hasbro manufactures all of the physical board games as an in-kind donation, allowing us to provide unlimited copies to students, teachers, or schools. In addition to these high-level partnerships, we have relationships with hundreds of community implementation partners across the country, a network that will be instrumental as we continue to scale existing and future programs.

In addition to our program model and partner network, we have a devoted staff with a diverse range of identities, skills, and backgrounds. All of our staff are lifelong educators in some capacity, and come from very different backgrounds. Calvin Sibert, our Director of Program Support and Content, is a 20+ year math teacher from Detroit, MI who spent his career teaching students in our target demographic, experience that is crucial in helping the program best serve students' needs. Colleen Serafini is a 15+ year leader from one of our biggest community partners in San Francisco, and she has a deep understanding of the types of organizations and networks we work with in each region. Nick Monzi, our CEO & Co-Founder, has grown the program on the national level over the past six years, engaging with students, partners, and funders in every region of the country. These staff round out our expertise in educational design, program and partnership management, and the execution of unique and impactful educational experiences for students.

Over the course of a five-year period, regular program evaluations by the American Institutes for Research have shown consistent gains among students participating in NBA Math Hoops across all major demographic groups (female, male, Black, Latinx, White), as well as consistent improvement in the program’s impact each year. After normalizing the data, students across all demographics completing the full program experience in 2018 improved by 0.46 standard deviations against the mean, an uptick from the 2017 (0.40 SD) and 2016 (0.34 SD) evaluations. Considering the raw data for 2018, this equates to 23% percent mathematical gains for students who completed the program and assessments, while a control group from the same classrooms and buildings demonstrated gains of just 7%.

The social-emotional evaluation also documented promising gains across the participating student population. When compared with non-participants from their schools and after-school programs, students who completed the NBA Math Hoops program in 2019 were 30 percent more likely achieve developmental gains in key areas such as persistence, resilience, grit, goal-setting, and communication.

Additional key findings from recent evaluations are included below:

- During the 2019-20 season, students who completed the program experienced a 28% increase in their math fluency scores, compared with a 19% increase for students in a control group.

- The same population of students who completed the program experienced an 21% improvement on a NAEP-aligned math assessment evaluating higher-order math skills, compared with a 8% increase for a control group from the same programs and communities.

- A new social-emotional competency evaluation has also documented promising gains across the participating student population. As an example, a few specific data points that were tracked are included below for reference:

- The percentage of students who reported being able to stay calm during a problem or argument improved by 23% from pre to post-test, compared with a 4% decline amongst the control group.
- The percentage of students who reported that they don’t give up when faced with a challenge improved by 11% from pre to post-test, compared with a 7% decline amongst the control group.
- The percentage of students who reported that they saw themselves as a leader improved by 15% from pre to post-test, compared with a 17% decline amongst the control group.

These are tremendously positive social-emotional gains for a program that is predominantly focused on improving mathematical achievement and engagement, and they represent an area that we will continue to evaluate more deeply in the coming years.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    From the first year that we implemented the NBA Math Hoops program in a community setting, we have hosted an annual summit with educators from across the country — first via a special weekend reserved for “All-Star educators” representing the diverse communities within which we work, and now via our NBA Math Hoops National Championship weekend. As a result of this intentional approach to engaging educators thorough brainstorming and discussion about the program, we have sourced 90%+ of our adjustments and innovations from educators who are directly participating in our experiences. This includes a full overhaul of the NBA Math Hoops curriculum, the development and implementation of social-emotional reflection pieces within the core curriculum, the creation of a National Championship event.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome,

Financials

Learn Fresh Education Co.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Learn Fresh Education Co.

Board of directors
as of 03/04/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Adam Miller

Adam Miller

David McGhee

Skillman Foundation

Khalil Fuller

Boundless Venture Co.

Betty Low

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Jeff Hale

Morgan Stanley

Nasir Qadree

Zeal Capital Partners

Deborah Stroman

Center of Sport Business and Analytics

Kayla Alexander

WNBA Athlete

Mike Scott

NBA Athlete

Carlin Politzer

Encore.org

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/9/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.