America Learns | About America Learns
About America Learns
gary kosman, christina saulter
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About us

 

Meet a Few Clients.

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  • FoodCorps
    FoodCorps

    “Damn we're glad to be working with you.”

    —Curt Ellis
    Co-Founder & Executive Director

  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross

    "I keep this word document on my desktop that is 'Things I would do if I had the time,' and no joke, America Learns has afforded me with the opportunity to LOOK at the list and even tackle a couple of the projects."

    —Betsy Laakso, AmeriCorps Program Director

  • Girls For A Change
    Girls For A Change

    “Not only have we been able to grow our program and serve more girls, but also increase the quality of support we give our volunteers, increase staff productivity, and streamline our evaluation process.”

    — Meghan Arrigo
    Western Regional Program Director

  • Coach Across America
    Coach Across America

    “It provides us with customized reports that we can't get anywhere else. It isn't confusing for our members or our site supervisors.”

    —Caitlin Barrett, Assistant Director

  • Met Council
    Met Council

    "It's so nice just telling it what I want, and then getting what I want."

    — Stefanie Greenberg, Volunteer Department Manager

  • Watsonville Public Library
    Watsonville Public Library

    “America Learns serves two critical purposes for our program: It provides an easy method for tracking all statistics (including special requirements for funders), and it provides instant support to our volunteers.”

    — Toni Notar, Director

  • UECC AmeriCorps at UC Riverside
    UECC AmeriCorps at UC Riverside

    “America Learns has been a tremendous benefit to my program, both from the timesheets side and the reflection log side... We like the time savings associated with electronically tracking member time and activity. We also like that the member reflection logs are highly customizable so we can quickly access not only the data that we require for our AmeriCorps reports, but also the anecdotal data, the members' stories that we might otherwise miss..."

    —Josh Maher, Program Director

  • Share Our Strength
    Share Our Strength

    “The time and attendance data that we are able to capture through America Learns helps us operate more efficiently, creating more time for our AmeriCorps members and supervisors to serve the people who need us most – our Cooking Matters participants!”

    —Hayley Beers, Operations Manager

  • Monterey County Free Libraries
    Monterey County Free Libraries

    “America Learns allows us to stretch our small staff to serve more learners than ever before.”

    — Leslie Payne, Managing Librarian for Special Services

  • University of Michigan America Reads
    University of Michigan America Reads

    “The America Learns Network offers a more direct line of communication with the 120 tutors who are in the corps; where in the past, we only had resources to connect with the tutor leaders.”

    — Kristi Fenrich, America Reads Tutoring Corps

  • Literacy AmeriCorps Palm Beach County
    Literacy AmeriCorps Palm Beach County

    “You have incredible customer service and have been most helpful, friendly and great to work with!!”

    — Audrey McDonough, Director

  • Energy Corps
    Energy Corps

    “The America Learns philosophy is in alignment with our desire to create a positive, formative experience for our members through their service terms. We believe that through reflection and tracking progress towards goals, members will be able to provide more effective service during their terms and come away with a richer experience when their terms are complete.”

    —Holly Hill, National Coordinator

 

Our Truth

 

Time spent collecting data and creating reports doesn’t strengthen communities or improve lives.  But, giving leaders of service-based operations simpler & smarter tools to collect, evaluate, and apply data without wasting time…

 

Now, that’s something that can change the world.

world

 

 

 

Our Obsession

We’re obsessed with making the process of collecting, tracking, organizing, and reporting critical data a non-issue.  When that happens, leaders have freedom to ask bigger questions and to use information in ways that strengthen their efforts.

 

 

data_phone

 

 

 

Our work reaches back to the 1990s, when our founder was volunteering as a tutor and mentor with a small nonprofit — an organization that didn’t always have the capacity to track impact, use data, or provide timely support to its volunteers.  As a result, the children being served weren’t receiving quality services.

 

 

So we began our work with a focus on tutoring and mentoring programs, making sure that those programs gain the capacity to collect and use their most important information so that the children they’re serving truly thrive.

Our Backbone is the Art and Science of Learning.

 

Our Now: Beyond Tutoring & Mentoring

As we’ve built our practice, more and more organizations outside of the tutoring and mentoring world began to ask us if they might benefit from our services.  While we’ve maintained our leadership in the fields where we began, it’s exciting to expand into sectors ranging from disaster relief to conservation to nutrition to veterans services. In our first decade, we’ve been fortunate to partner with organizations operating in 46 U.S. states and 19 other countries.

 

 

 

Our Services Work.

 

Our clients have unique goals when they decide to use our web-based services or ask for our guidance.  Here are the most common:
  • Reducing the amount of time spent collecting, organizing, and reporting data by 50% or more
  • Making sure stakeholders are always aware of your successes
  • Ensuring your people on the ground are delivering the best services
  • Making your program more competitive in grant competitions
  • Staying compliant with government grants
  • Using data to constantly improve program quality or even completely re-imagine your efforts
  • Improving collaboration with staff around the use of information and knowledge
  • Building a more reflective culture

 

 

Bill Clinton wrote about us in one of his recent books, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.  The book Creating Good Work named our CEO among the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.  Our work has also been written about by the Center for WhatWorks, the U.S. Department of Education, and Campus Compact, among others.

 

speak

 

 

 

Our Team Leaders

 

Gary Kosman

gary

gary @ americalearns.net

Gary founded America Learns in 2003 after serving as a tutor and mentor during college. Since that time, he has served as an Echoing Green Fellow and was recently highlighted in the book, Creating Good Work: 25 of the World’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs Help You Build a Healthy Economy. In 2007, former President Bill Clinton recognized Gary and America Learns in the bestseller, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.  When Gary isn’t focused on America Learns, you can find him practicing yoga, volunteering with Centro Latino for Literacy, training his dog, or helping young entrepreneurs turn their dreams into realities.

 

Christina Williams Saulter

christina

christina @ americalearns.net

As a two-time AmeriCorps member (NCCC and VISTA), program director for a youth development organization (America SCORES Cleveland), and as the former Program Director for an AmeriCorps National Direct (Coach Across America), Christina brings a ton of experience to the America Learns community. She studied poetry at Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis, and when she’s not finding creative ways to make service more fun and meaningful, she can be found somewhere beautiful with a weather-proof notebook and pen.

 

Lajin Mohan

lajin @ americalearns.net

Lajin, our Chief Engineer, specializes in taking complex problems and turning them into simple and beautiful web-based solutions.   As the leader of our engineering team, he’s a main ingredient of our “secret sauce” — creating easy-to-use, innovative, powerful applications that make sense to people who are in their teens or their 90s. His coding and design weapons of choice these days include ColdFusion, PHP, WordPress, Joomla, XHTML/CSS, jQuery, Facebook API, and Photoshop. Like all team members here, Lajin puts a huge priority on family, and when he’s traveling with friends and family, you’ll often find him practicing his photography skills. Watch out for him on the cricket field as well.