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Lesson One Foundation Inc

 306 Dartmouth Street
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 247-2787
[F] (617) 247-3462
LESSONONE.ORG
[email protected]
-- --
Twitter
INCORPORATED: 1980
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2656636

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA Lesson One Company
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Lesson One mission is to help children and adults take control of their lives and provide a culture-change in schools, homes and neighborhoods.   We aim to teach children fundamental social and emotional skills such as self-control, resliency, self-confidence, responsibility, critical thinking, problem solving and cooperation in the same sequential and straightforward way that the alphabet and numbers are taught so they can survive and succeed socially and academically.
 

Mission Statement

The Lesson One mission is to help children and adults take control of their lives and provide a culture-change in schools, homes and neighborhoods.   We aim to teach children fundamental social and emotional skills such as self-control, resliency, self-confidence, responsibility, critical thinking, problem solving and cooperation in the same sequential and straightforward way that the alphabet and numbers are taught so they can survive and succeed socially and academically.
 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2011 to Aug 31, 2012
Projected Income $400,000.00
Projected Expense $375,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Lesson One: The ABCs of Life

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2008 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Lesson One mission is to help children and adults take control of their lives and provide a culture-change in schools, homes and neighborhoods.   We aim to teach children fundamental social and emotional skills such as self-control, resliency, self-confidence, responsibility, critical thinking, problem solving and cooperation in the same sequential and straightforward way that the alphabet and numbers are taught so they can survive and succeed socially and academically.
 

Background Statement

The history of Lesson One is marked with numerous accomplishments and exciting milestones. After its founding as a non-profit organization in 1976, Lesson One began in the Boston Public schools and soon expanded to municipalities throughout Massachusetts. Within a few years, the Governor of Massachusetts awarded Lesson One a proclamation for the important work doing with children throughout the state. In the 1990’s, Lesson One received a citation from the Boston School Committee and was recognized as a model for safe and drug-free schools at a White House ceremony for the National Education Goals. Soon thereafter the company was awarded a 5-year federal grant, along with the Harvard School of Public Health, to assist with development of a curriculum for grief, loss and peacemaking. The national media began to take notice and Lesson One was the subject of stories on ABC World News Tonight, Dateline NBC, CNN, and USA Today. In May of 2000, Parade Magazine published an article about the success of the Lesson One program and nearly 6,000 people contacted us looking for help with teaching the Lesson One skills to their children. Due to this heavy demand, Lesson One was then adapted for national audience and disseminated to educators, schools and communities in over 30 states and Canada. In 2004, Simon and Schuster published our first book Lesson One: The ABCs of Life which has received glowing endorsements from Bill Cosby and Marian Wright Edelman, among others. 

Impact Statement

1.  Lesson One presented a workshop at Temple University with Bill Cosby for educators and future teachers focusing on the trials and tribulations of urban education.
2.  Our book, "Lesson One: The ABCs of Life" by Simon & Schuster went into it's fifth printing.
3.  Our intervention expanded to six schools in California and is now being used by schools in Canada.
4.  The Lesson One intervention is slated to be on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration's website listing evidence-based programs.

Needs Statement

While we have worked in schools and communities in Boston, in Massachusetts and nationally we have only been able to do so through word of mouth and sporadic media attention.  We often think of ourselves as the best kept secret in education. Therefore, one of our most pressing needs is to receive help in marketing and public relations to bring our intervention to more schools and communities.  In addition, we are currently working with several schools and communities that want to initiate Lesson One but who lack the funds to do so.  We lack the financial and personnel resources for a comprehensive fundraising campaign that will help fulfill the many requests for our intervention.

 


CEO Statement

 Lesson One’s intervention  is groundbreaking in that it doesn’t just teach skills—it defines them, simply and clearly, and then teaches them sequentially. Lesson One works with children, teachers, staff, parents and guardians, to create an environment where children learn to integrate skills from self-control to cooperation into their lives. 

 

What Lesson One teaches is as critical to life as learning the ABCs and the 123s. These are skills children need for the rest of their lives, yet they often don’t even understand what these skills are. Expecting children to exercise self-control and take responsibility for their own actions without having these basic life skills is like asking them for a book report if they do not know how to read, or what two plus two is if they have never been taught to count.

 

The Lesson One skills are vital—every child deserves a chance to learn and internalize them. The future of our children and our culture depends on it.


Board Chair Statement

 In 1973, I was a young teacher on my way to his first day on the job. I got all spiffed up, packed my new lunch box, and entered the school doors with visions of smiling children’s faces.  Instead, a student punched me in the back. On the second day, she punched me again. The third day, I gently held her fist and drew a face on it. That face spoke, and told me that her father had held a gun to her head and her parents were getting a divorce.

 

That experience coupled with my early life experiences began my journey to develop ways to help children overcome the many obstacles they face as they navigate through life.   Since the founding of Lesson One, it has been my mission to continue to help children with skills such as self-control despite the challenges of an often difficult economy and fundraising climate.  We face these challenges directly by evolving and continually improving our intervention and partnering with others who share our mission.


Geographic Area Served

NATIONAL
While Lesson One has been fortunate to work with communities around the country, we never want to forget about those in our own backyard. With youth violence being so prevalent in Boston’s neighborhoods, Lesson One has made it a priority to work with Boston’s most vulnerable – its young children. 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Primary & Elementary Schools
  2. Public & Societal Benefit -
  3. Youth Development -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Lesson One: The ABCs of Life

Lesson One’s main intervention involves direct-service modeling in schools. Lesson One consultants can walk into any school for the first time on a Monday, and during the course of one week, help create an exciting transformation in the school culture. We work to provide classroom modeling in every school classroom in order to share the Lesson One with all teachers and students. Through research and experience, we have discovered that working on-site with students and teachers is the most successful way of implementing the intervention into the school culture. By “modeling” the strategies and methods, participants can see how to implement Lesson One first-hand. In order to achieve this, Lesson One provides a comprehensive residency to ensure the intervention is thoroughly presented to both students and staff.
Budget  7,500/week
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-Term Success 

Short term program success is more quantifiable. The following outlines outcomes we have come to expect:

  • GPAs, Standardized Test Scores, and AYP indicators will show improvement.
  • The rate of office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions will decrease.
  • Stress among both students and faculty will diminish.
  • Students’ time on task will improve.
  • Intervention schools will notice a reduction in verbal and physical altercations among students.

 

 

 

 

 

Program Long-Term Success 

Lesson One's ultimate goal is to provide adults with tools to help children internalize skills for social and academic success. As a result, we aim for a school's climate and culture to experience significant improvement where students demonstrate healthy interpersonal and academic skills.

 

Program Success Monitored By 

To assess that Lesson One outcomes are being met, process evaluations are conducted. The evaluations consist of the following components:

  • Monitoring of classroom-based program implementation
  • Student and teacher self-reports
  • Adminsitrative interviews
  • Tracking of disciplinary, attendance and other relevant statistics
  • Analysis of reported incidence of violence and aggression.

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of Program Success 

The following examples tell the story of the results we have come to expect— an increase in learning and the ability to supply the necessary social and emotional tools for success. After incorporating Lesson One intervention into their classrooms, teachers reported the following:

 

  • 30% of their students improved in respecting feelings of other children instead of calling them names.
  • 42% of their students improved in following verbal directions 
  •  39% of their students improved in learning from their mistakes and continuing at a task that is difficult for them.
  • 38% of their students showed an improvement in transitioning from one activity to the next and calming down easily after an exciting event.
  • 28% improved in refraining  from fighting with their peers.
Most recently, in data collected from schools in Oxnard, CA, statistics have shown significant decreases in suspensions and increases in academic test scores.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our greatest challenge is to make people aware of the Lesson One intervention and its benefits to schools, communities and society as a whole.  We continue to be resilient in today's climate and seek out ways to expand our reach.  For example, we have recently compiled statistics collected over the years and submitted them to the federal government for review.  We expect that Lesson One will be included on a list of evidence-based programs on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.  We are also currently working with the University of South Florida on a grant to further evaluate the Lesson One intervention and write about the results in a peer reviewed journal.  
 
In addition, we have several ideas to adapt the Lesson One intervention for television and internet in order for children to learn skills such as self-control through a variety of media and for adults to also be adept at teaching the skills in school, home and the community. 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Jon Oliver Lesson One
CEO Term Start Sept 1976
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Jon Oliver is Lesson One's founder.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Fern Shamis Administrative Director
Fern Shamis has been with Lesson One since 1986, has a Master's degree
in Educational Administration. 

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Goals 2000: Safe and Drug-Free Schools White House 1996

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Lesson One has partnered with a variety of organizations throughout its history including the Harvard School of Public Health, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Essex County District Attorney's office.  Current collaborations include  the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester, MA and the University of South Florida.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Jon Oliver, Lesson One's founder and director is currently President of Lesson One's board.  This is an arrangement that has worked well for the organization over the years yet we also recognize the uniqueness of the situation.  We will be making it our goal, as we grow and evolve as a non-profit organization, to reinvigorate our Board of Directors and appoint a President who is not also an employee.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Jon Oliver
Board Chair Company Affiliation Executive Director
Board Chair Term Sept 1986 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Colin Brenan Biotrove Voting
Mr. Roger DeAngelis Raja Products Voting
Mr. John Higgins Retired Teacher Voting
Ms. Fern Shamis Lesson One Voting
Mr. Paul Todisco Health Care Security Trust Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 20%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Jon Oliver, Lesson One's founder and director is currently President of Lesson One's board.  This is an arrangement that has worked well for the organization over the years yet we also recognize the uniqueness of the situation.  We will be making it our goal, as we grow and evolve as a non-profit organization, to reinvigorate our Board of Directors and appoint a President who is not also an employee.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2008 (%)

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2011 to Aug 31, 2012
Projected Income $400,000.00
Projected Expense $375,000.00
Form 990s

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2010 Finance Statement

2009 Finance Statement

2008 Finance Statement

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Total Revenue $466,352 $443,077 $394,416
Total Expenses $515,265 $444,509 $334,077

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$52,500 -- $49,000
Government Contributions $376,781 $369,157 $255,440
    Federal $59,623 $156,657 $181,110
    State $43,158 -- --
    Local $274,000 $212,500 $74,330
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $36,968 $73,793 $89,881
Investment Income, Net of Losses $103 $127 $95
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Program Expense $392,195 $342,162 $224,630
Administration Expense $123,070 $102,347 $109,447
Fundraising Expense $0 $0 $0
Payments to Affiliates $0 $0 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 1.00 1.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses 76% 77% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Total Assets $87,452 $169,368 $142,300
Current Assets $82,744 $163,593 $139,397
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $16,497 $16,000 $16,000
Total Net Assets $70,955 $153,368 $126,300

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.02 10.22 8.71

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2010 2009 2008
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's financial reviews.  This nonprofit provided additional information about sources of revenue per their internal records.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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