Just Inspire | What Our Clients Say
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What Our Clients Say

Daniel Shanahan
Director of Funded Programs

Please let this letter serve as my enthusiastic recommendation of Susan Maher’s abilities as a grant writer and grant director. She has been an integral part of bringing new funding and new and improved programs to East Ramapo Central School District’s schools and their communities.

Ms. Maher’s grant-writing expertise earned Pomona Middle School an Extended Learning Time (ELT) grant, and through her supervision of the grant, the school enhanced and expanded instruction in core subjects, and provided enrichment and engagement opportunities for students in the form of special presentations, clubs, sports, and homework tutoring. She also worked to secure and oversee the Community Schools Grant Initiative (CSGI), which allowed Pomona Middle School to offer activities and events that promote family engagement, support students and families, and help connect families with public, non-profit, and private resources.

As grant director, Ms. Maher skillfully managed a complex process that included writing and obtaining the ELT and CSGI grants, earning community buy-in, tracking data and complying with grant needs, working with teachers and staff on the ground, providing professional development, and staffing new programs with high-quality employees through her company.

Through Ms. Maher’s efforts, we were awarded a Project Aware grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Ms. Maher managed the delivery of Youth Mental Health First Aid training—which increases the mental health literacy among youth-serving adults—to teachers, counselors, and other school personnel.

Ms. Maher earned the Drug-Free Communities Support Mentor Program grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and set up PEER (Prevention Education for East Ramapo Coalition), which sponsors positive youth development opportunities such as camp scholarships, and funds a SADD club at Pomona Middle School and an After School Movie Club and Let’s Move club at Chestnut Ridge Middle School.

Ms. Maher’s skill with grants has been a considerable asset to East Ramapo Central School District and I strongly endorse her work.

Regards,

Daniel Shanahan
Director of Funded Programs 

Christine Alfonso
Principal, Pomona Middle School

As the principal of Pomona Middle School, I would like to commend Susan Maher of Just Inspire for the professionalism, dedication, and expertise she has shown in working with our school on the Extended Learning Time grant and the Community Schools Grant Initiative.

Because of Ms. Maher’s work obtaining and managing the grants and overseeing their implementation, we were able to strategically extend the school day to provide extra instruction in core subjects as well as preserve clubs and sports, provide all-new STEAM activities and enrichment assemblies, train teachers to work with the latest technology, bring in Chromebooks for students and teachers to use, monitor ELA and Math scores, and provide a substantially richer experience for Pomona students. The results have been fantastic, most notably: increased participation in extracurricular activities, improved attendance, and decreased discipline referrals. And students report that, with the extra instruction, their grades are going up and they are better able to learn the Common Core material.

The school was able to bring back a Family Resource Coordinator to help families find support, seek information, participate in programs, and access school, community, and government resources. Students have enjoyed bi-monthly cultural enrichment assemblies and civic programs that help connect them to school and connect school to community. Pomona Middle School was able to bring back student clubs as well as offer new ones, like the Computer Club, Environmental Club, Homework Club, Multicultural Club, Newspaper Club, and Weather Club. The PBIS Club (Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions) has been a great success, and each month recognizes one 7th and one 8th grade student who have demonstrated a trait showing Pomona P.R.I.D.E., which stands for: Performance, Respect, Integrity, Determination, Excellence.

There has been a real and positive change at the school due to the exemplary work of Ms. Maher and I could not be more appreciative of her talent and skill in seeking out and writing grants, and doing the hard work to carry out the grants’ requirements. I am pleased to recommend her services.

Sincerely,

Christine Alfonso
Principal, Pomona Middle School

testimonial-alan

Alan Gonzalez
Interim Principal
Hamilton Elementary School

I served as interim Principal at Grimes Elementary in the Mount Vernon School District for the 2015-2016 school year. During my tenure, I found Just Inspire to be of great assistance as they were able to provide sorely needed expertise in data analysis, professional mentoring and the facilitation of overall school improvement.

 

Just Inspire provided a consultant who was permanently housed at the school who would work with myself, other consultants and the teaching staff to collect, analyze, implement and present various forms of data. The consultant was also able to work with teachers to assist them in better understanding how to use the assessment programs and analyze the data from these programs so that they could properly implement their recommendations for group and individual study. Just Inspire also ran a program called Parent University which was a community outreach program which focused on increasing and improving the relationship between the school and the parents by inviting them in on Saturdays and show them what their children were learning in the classroom for ELA, Math and Science. In addition, parents were given tools to teach them how they could help their children with homework and how best to utilize community resources; all of which culminated in a carnival at the end of the program. Just Inspire also provided mentoring services to my Assistant Principal who was new to the position at the time.

 

The extended day program provided academic instructional services in Mathematics (emphasis on fundamental skills coupled with CCLS when possible) for grades K-6 in alignment with Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). Just Inspire’s data consultant was able to identify 155 (Math) students throughout the entire school to target using Math scores obtained from the prior year’s state scores for those in grades 4-6, i-Ready assessments for those in grades 2 and 3 and working with the teachers in grades K-1 to determine which students needed additional help.

 

Through this targeted program we were able to raise our Math Scores proficiency school wide from 14% in 2015 to 19% in 2016 and I believe there will be even more improvement when the lowers grades are of age to take the NY State exams. The program went from went from 3:15-5:15pm on Mondays-Thursdays and on Saturdays from 9:30-11:30 am. At the end of the program the consultant assisted with the evaluation of the program by analyzing all data collected during the program and submitted a report to the District’s Central Office.

 

In addition, the Summer S.T.E.A.M Program was designed to provide project-based learning experiences for grades K-6 for five weeks during the summer of 2016. Just Inspire had the last 2 hours after lunch where they brought in teachers to utilize a curriculum that was based on NY state’s ELA, Math, Science and Fitness standards. The program ran for five weeks and when it was over the data consultant assisted with its evaluation by analyzing all data collected during the program and once again submitted a report to the District’s Central Office.  

 

I would say that working with Just Inspire has helped us to realize many of our goals as the company furnished us with creative, efficient and personable consultants and skillful oversight which helped us to overcome quite a few challenges during the school year. Therefore, is with the utmost confidence that I would recommend Just Inspire to educational entities seeking to maximize the potential of their programs by enhancing student scholarship and staff productivity.

Regards,

 

Alan Gonzalez
Interim Principal
Hamilton Elementary School