Listening to America is a series of Educational Forums which are extensions of The DREAM Tour sponsored by ExxonMobil. Host Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. brings together key local education decision makers, elected officials, parents, teachers, and civic leaders to engage in a discussion around STEM education and the need for more middle school students to pursue math and science careers in the United States. Each city provides their unique perspective on the barriers to success and also offers their own strategies for raising achievement, helping to create a clear picture of the national landscape. The forums expand the impact of The Dream Tour beyond the students at the schools visited by fostering a dialogue with STEM career-oriented individuals who care deeply about the future of our nation and its children.
As a diverse national network of concerned individuals is built, the conversation has become rich and substantial. Since 2008, the Educational Forum has been in 21 cities, with nearly 600 total participants who serve 1.7 million of our nation’s children. The goals of these forums are to make STEM education more prevalent in students’ lives as well as to increase awareness among policymakers around the country about the need for improvements. The Foundation will compile the data collected for publication and distribution to become a voice for the nation and be a catalyst for change.
“When I read in the program it was called a forum, I didn’t know what to expect - but we just had a great dialogue here talking about what we can do in America and Montana to try to improve the situation for students and families to try to make sure every child can have an opportunity to hopefully fulfill their potential. We talked about parents, we talked about kids, and we talked about teachers and one of the things I liked more than anything else was that we really did focus on the kid.”
School Superintendent (Billings, Montana)
"Wonderful opportunity to hear different viewpoints on where education is, centering on what’s good for children, bringing people together who really do believe in working for and advocating for children to make sure that we put in place the teachers and the policies and procedures to support them to develop to their fullest potential."
Principal of Roosevelt Middle School (Oakland, California)
"The conversation we had here tonight was about the appropriate education of children. While the emphasis was math and science, primarily science, it has been a discussion that is appropriate and beneficial and ought to repeat itself across this country. It was great coming in and spending an hour and a half talking about the young people of this district, the young people in this country. And raising the question to challenge us, what are we going to do to more effectively do the job of educating them?"
Dr. Willie Giles
Chief Operating Officer (Indianapolis Public Schools)
For more information, please contact:
The Harris Foundation
1330 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 2550
Houston, Texas 77056