Extend Influence Featured in The Columbus Dispatch

Extend Influence was recently featured in The Columbus Dispatch in an article that detailed our work with high school kids to renew student interest in attending & participating in class.  Read some of the article below or the full article at:

Private company disrupts status quo at South High, renews student interest in being in classes

By  Jennifer Smith Richards on Sunday June 10, 2012 12:53 PM

There were classes, and there were sports. But there was little else at South High two years ago. The couple of lunchtime clubs barely attracted students’ attention. Even with its long history of robust school pride and a beautifully renovated building, South High School had become, by most accounts, a wisp of its former self.

This past year, there were about 20 clubs — everything from a Harry Potter reading club to one for weightlifting. The student newspaper is back. The drill team, too.

It didn’t happen without outside intervention, and one shouldn’t mistake progress for perfection. But things have changed at South since an outside operator came into the school and started disrupting the way business had been done.

The first and most important order of business for Catapult Learning, the New Jersey company that Columbus City Schools hired in August using part of its $1.2  million federal school-turnaround grant, was to make students care about coming to school again. South was the only public school in the state to use its grant to bring in an outside operator. The principal says it has worked.

“They’re more enthusiastic, more motivated,” Principal Johnetta Wiley said of her students.The entire school read the same book during the school year that just ended. Wiley saw the custodian on a break one day. He, too, was reading the book.

Read the entire article at The Columbus Dispatch