Dun & Bradstreet Strives to Empower Today’s Youth Through Education For a Brighter Tomorrow

What if you were tasked to build a mechanical device that could move an object in two dimensions – both vertically and horizontally? Would you know where to begin?

With the support of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) based programs, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) knew that their K-8th grade students would be up for the challenge. The STEM Program, which is funded in part through Dun & Bradstreet EdAhead donations, allows groups of young students the opportunity to work on an array of complex projects, with some pretty incredible results. Dorothy Kiniti and Stephen Shirk from Dun & Bradstreet were given the opportunity to visit a few of the schools to see just what the students were up to and check out some of these complex projects. Read on to hear more about how EdAhead funding is being put to use in the Santa Monica-Malibu area:

From left to right; Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, Santa Monica-Malibu Education Fund), Gretchen McLaughlin (English Language Arts, SMMUSD), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager, Dun & Bradstreet), Marianna O’Brien (Science, SMMUSD), Dr. Suzanne Webb (Principal, SMMUSD)

Lincoln Middle School

At Lincoln Middle School, students were given six weeks to create a formal experiment proposal that included an abstract, rationale, experimental design, experimental procedures, and a citation page.

Throughout the course of the program, students utilized the process of discovery as a teaching tool, learning from their mistakes as well as their successes. They also developed advanced communication skills to help explain their scientific ideas to the experiment selection committees. To facilitate the development of those skills, the school created a core program that partners science and english lessons.

Students at Lincoln Middle School

At the end of six weeks, over 80 experiment proposals were submitted to the Review Committee, which consisted of local community members. The winning proposal, entitled the “Paper Chromatography Experiment,” was created to help determine whether chromatography could be performed in microgravity, and discover how the process may differ from when it is performed on earth. The experiment was then sent to the International Space Station on June 19th, 2015, from the Kennedy Space Center.

The winning team of 8th grade students included Samuel Buckley-Bonanno, Adam Chamas, Charlie Gooding and Shrayes Raman.

John Muir Elementary

The Exploratory collaborated with John Muir Elementary on a K-5 curriculum designed to engage learning experiences that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) subjects. The program gives an early start at exposing young students to STEM-related programs and gives them an opportunity to use their curiosity and intelligence to compete in problem solving tasks. Thanks to their partnership with The Exploratory, an eight-week design lab helped prepare children for challenges through its “Tinker.Make.Innovate” philosophy.

The students at John Muir were tasked with exploring simple machines and gear systems to create a self-operating machine that could share a story about a person that made a difference in history. The program would otherwise not be possible without the generous donations of families, communities and businesses within the community.

From left to right; Susie Parks (Parent), Kristina London (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Tina Pezzotta (PlanetBravo), Dorothy Kiniti (Marketing Operations Manager), Karen Verham (5th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), (Lori Rose (4th Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary), Linda Greenberg (Executive Director, SMMEF), Ann Conkle (Communications and Events Manager, SMMEF), Jordan Norman (PlanetBravo) Front Row: Amanda Park (Student)

Point Dume Marine Science School and Webster Elementary

PlanetBravo partnered with Point Dume and Webster Elementary to deliver a formal technology curriculum that integrated common core standards for Math and Language Arts in their computer labs. The PlanetBravo instructors worked with the students on a weekly basis covering relevant computer topics.

Students have benefited from PlanetBravo in many ways, including the expansion of their digital knowledge through lessons in technology and problem solving. Every year, PlanetBravo helps to enhance children’s futures by teaching them to learn and build something new. By the time the students are in middle school, they are already well versed in Google Apps, are able to create documents and spreadsheets, and are comfortable understanding web etiquette, with the invaluable knowledge that their digital footprint stays with them forever.

These school programs were funded thanks to the contributions made by the EdAhead initiative. The $100,000 grant made to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) by Dun & Bradstreet was allocated to comprehensive programs such as this,designed to improve student achievement and success from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade.

About EdAhead

EdAhead® is a revolutionary program designed to stress the importance of education for the future of America’s business success. By uniting employees and employers in contributing to students’ preparation for college, helping fund college savings, and improving local schools, EdAhead is an investment in student’s futures for personal success, community well being, and global prosperity.

The EdAhead program is a welcome bridge between saving today for education tomorrow, and it’s not just for parents. Any employee can be a steward of a child’s educational opportunity. We encourage any and every company to join our commitment to the importance of education to a shared future of leadership and strength.

For more about Dun & Bradstreet, visit: http://www.dnb.com.


North Hollywood High School Team Named National Champions at CyberPatriot Finals

L.A. Unified’s Beyond the Bell teams competed for the national high school cyber defense championship for the sixth-straight year. In Dec. 2014, Dun & Bradstreet donated $100,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District as part of its EdAhead program. That donation is being used to support the Beyond the Bell CyberPatriot and CyberGirlz programs, which were designed to train young women in technology and cyber security and prepare students to compete at the highest level in CyberPatriot: The National Student Cyber Defense Championship. We’re thrilled to have supported a program like this, and that Team Azure from North Hollywood High School won the national title!

The Finalists

This year, Beyond the Bell named three teams for the national finals – more than any other school district in the nation! Most of LA’s teams are from Title 1 schools and those competing include teams from Franklin and North Hollywood High Schools. Team Azure, this year’s winner, was also the 2014 Championship winner. Two of their champions are actually already working in the cyber security field while finishing up high school and preparing to go to college in the fall.

About Beyond the Bell & CyberPatriot

Beyond the Bell LA is responsible for all the after school programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Six years ago, Beyond the Bell innovated an after school STEM program to train students to defend and defuse cyber attacks. The program was designed to prepare students to compete at the highest level in CyberPatriot: The National Student Cyber Defense Championship. CyberPatriot was started seven years ago by the Air Force Association to create generations of students skilled at cyber defense. Today the program is the largest in the country with148 teams and over 600 students, 30 percent of whom are female. The program aims to grow the number of female participants every year.

Photo Credits: North Hollywood High School, Franklin High School, U.S. CyberPatriot

EdAhead Sends Grimsley High School Students to International Career Development Conference Through $19,000 Grant

At Grimsley High School on April 16, 2015,  Dun & Bradstreet Credibility’s Greensboro team presented a check for $19,271 to the Enrichment Fund for Guilford County schools to establish “The Future Thinkers, Doers and Innovators Fund” on behalf of our EdAhead Initiative. EdAhead is the nation’s first education savings program with a multiple match, which means the donation we presented today is based on the matched amount of contributions (up to a certain amount) that the Greensboro office employees made to their 529 education accounts.

This fund provides scholarship support to Guilford County students who advance to regional and national conferences or competitions related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The fund gives priority to the students with the greatest financial need, and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility was actually able to meet a few of the students who were awarded a $2,400 grant from this funding. This grant also allows the Grimsley High School DECA students to travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in an International Career Development Conference. One student stated he was humbled for the financial assistance because this international leadership competition was his “superbowl,” and that this funding gave him the platform to meet likeminded future business leaders and further his business knowledge.

Kudos to our Greensboro employees for helping make this happen! 


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EdAhead: Taking an Active Role in Improving Education

Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, Jeff Stibel, understands that 1) the rising cost of college prohibits many people from attending, and often saddles those who do attend with thousands of dollars of debt; 2) most people have trouble planning long-term; 3) businesses and corporations should have a vested interest in education. EdAhead® works to help solve these issues by giving each Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. employee the option to divert earnings to a 529 college savings plan, which the company will match up to $2,500 yearly.

But EdAhead doesn’t stop there, it also seeks to improve education before college. The total amount matched to employee’s 529s is also donated to school districts in which Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s offices operate. In the first year of the EdAhead program, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. donated nearly $250,000 to local school districts.

Want to get your company involved? Request information on how to join the EdAhead movement!

Introducing EdAhead®, the First Employer-Matched Education Savings Plan, Ever

Many of us in the working world understand what it’s like to put aside some of your earnings each month for retirement. The most popular form is the 401(k), which diverts pre-tax earnings into a separate savings account. Earnings diverted to this account are matched — dollar for dollar, up to a certain amount — by employers.

However, if you’re a parent (or plan on being one), you probably have another savings account into which you’re pouring post-tax earnings to help pay for your children’s education. This savings account is not buoyed by contributions of any sort, unless you have empathetic relatives who want to donate various sums each holiday.

That’s all about to change with EdAhead®.

  • With EdAhead, employers select a 529 savings plan for their employees and agree to match employee contributions up to a certain limit.
  • You can use your 529 plan to fund higher education for yourself, your children, or even your relatives’ children.
  • And the kicker: Employers also add up all the contributions they made to their employee funds each year and donate the total amount to the local public school where the business (or office) operates!
Watch the reactions when Jeff Stibel announced this plan at a board meeting!

Want to send your child — or a relative’s child? — to college? Want to go yourself? Start investing in your future, or children’s futures, now.

Education is everybody’s business®, so request your employer join us! Together we can help turn around the educational crisis in our country.

Bethlehem Area School District Receives $32,355 for STEM Initiative

On Feb. 10, 2015, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s Bethlehem, Pennsylvania office donated $32,355 to the Bethlehem Area School District* to support the district’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative, which prepares students for higher education and careers in the STEM fields.

The EdAhead funds will be used for the Bethlehem Area School District’s high school STEM initiative called Project Lead the Way (PLTW). PLTW is a four-year series of courses for high school students developed by engineers, physicians, university faculty and associated organizations. The curriculum, when combined with traditional mathematics and science courses in high school, introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and the medical fields prior to entering college. Students receive the opportunity to investigate a variety of careers in STEM fields as the program prepares them for post-secondary education.

“Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s support of our ambitious Project Lead the Way program provides Bethlehem Area School District students with unique learning opportunities that prepare them to move into high demand STEM careers,” said Dr. Joseph J. Roy, Superintendent of Schools, Bethlehem Area School District. “We are grateful and proud to call the local Dun & Bradstreet Credibility employees our partners.”

This is the second year that Dun & Bradstreet Credibility has contributed to the Bethlehem Area School District and the company hopes to inspire other local businesses to join the cause and offer EdAhead programs for their employees. Since 2013, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility has donated a total of almost $530,000 to public schools throughout the country, and $62,355 to the Bethlehem Area School District.

*This link [https://www.beth.k12.pa.us/] will take you to a third party website not governed by the Dun & Bradstreet privacy policy. Dun & Bradstreet is not responsible for products, services, or content located on third party websites.