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Zuckerman Spaeder Receives Vincent Reed Education Award

June 23, 2016

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is pleased to announced that it has been honored with the 2016 Vincent Reed Education Award by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

The 2016 Vincent Reed Award was presented to Zuckerman Spaeder for helping the Lawyers’ Committee’s Education Project establish and expand a Pilot Program designed to increase parent engagement and academic enrichment opportunities for students at Title I Schools.

The Parent Engagement Pilot Program launched in the late fall 2015 with accounting assistance from BDO and seed funding provided by Rick Rome of Savills Studley. That funding allowed the Education Project to offer matching funds to parent teacher organizations at certain Title I schools that committed to raising funds to achieve the dual goals of the program. Each PTO recipient of these matching funds developed unique approaches for both the fundraising events and the academic programs that they chose to fund.

Zuckerman Spaeder assisted the PTO of its school partner, Orr Elementary in Ward 8, in applying for matching funds from the Pilot Program. The matching grant allowed Orr Elementary School to host several events to increase parent engagement and academic enrichment opportunities.

“Through these events, we more than doubled the number of parent/guardian volunteer names and contacts that we had,” said Marlon Ray, Orr Elementary School’s Director of Strategy and Technology. “Using those new contacts, we exceeded our goals, as we saw a 75 percent increase in parent volunteer commitments to help with literacy and other academic enrichment programs in the next school year. Moreover, after these events, community interest in supporting our school has increased exponentially.”

Zuckerman Spaeder has long been a partner of Orr Elementary School. The firm provided pro bono legal representation to establish the Orr PTO and obtain for it 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. The firm regularly provides coaching to students competing in the annual Frederick Douglass oratory competition hosted by the National Park Service and provides funding and participants for the school’s Girls on the Run program. Additionally, Zuckerman Spaeder sponsors Orr Elementary’s end-of-year awards ceremony, and firm lawyers coach the school’s GeoPlunge team, an educational geography game in which children compete in tournaments geared towards gaining critical thinking skills and knowledge about the United States.

The award was presented during the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affair’s Wiley Branton Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.