Advisory Committee

Gracias to all of our Beyond the Backpack Advisory Committee members!


ASCD, a nonprofit, worldwide education organization with over 170,000 educator members, began its Whole Child Initiative in 2007 to encourage schools and communities to move beyond a narrow curriculum and accountability system and, instead, work together to ensure that each student has access to a challenging, comprehensive curriculum in a healthy and supportive climate. The association is joined by a diverse group of over 50 partners from leading education, health, arts, and civic organizations who have signed on to further the initiative.

Association of Children’s Museums Logo

Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) is the only organization representing museums, organizations and professionals dedicated to early childhood play, the starting point in the continuum of lifelong learning. ACM’s initiative, Playing for Keeps, seeks to promote and protect the role of play in our society. ACM’s anti-obesity initiative, Good to Grow!, supports children’s museums to provide healthy choices and activities for children and families. Many ACM members are recognized as Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens. There are 316 ACM museum members, representing a total of 22 countries. More than 30 million children and families annually visit children’s museums.

Born Learning Logo

Early learning is central to United Way's efforts to advance the common good. Some 81 percent of all United Ways support early education, including through Success By 6® initiatives, America's largest network of early childhood coalitions. Born Learning is United Way's national public engagement campaign, educating parents, caregivers, and communities about early learning, with 500+ public awareness, parent education, and communication action tools. The two initiatives work in tandem, galvanizing business, government, and non-profit leaders around early childhood education--helping raise awareness about early learning, improving access to services, advocating for public policies, and building early childhood systems.

Children's Defense Fund Logo

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The CDF provides a strong, effective, and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. The CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

Donors Choose Logo is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. At, public-school teachers from across America post classroom project requests that range from pencils for a poetry writing unit to violins for a school recital. Individuals can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires them. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school and donors receive photos and thank-you letters directly from the students. Their vision is a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn.

National Children's Museum Logo

The National Children's Museum (NCM), which is scheduled to open in 2013, will be a world-class cultural and educational center dedicated to engaging children and empowering them to make a difference. The mission of the NCM is to inspire children to care about and improve the world. Through its interactive exhibits, online community, and unique national programs and partnerships, the NCM is transforming the concept of a traditional museum by becoming a catalyst and forum for a national movement to inspire and empower kids to speak up, take action, and get engaged in their communities. Through 2013, the NCM is operating as a Museum Without Walls, participating in a variety of community events and working with other arts and cultural organizations to develop creative partnerships that benefit kids and families.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Logo

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s landmark Principles and Standards for School Mathematics sets forth guidelines for excellence in mathematics education and issues a call for all students to engage in more challenging mathematics. Online and printed Family Resources are available for parents to provide ongoing support for their children, in helping them be more successful. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students.

National Head Start Association Logo

National Head Start Association is a private nonprofit dedicated to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. Representing more than one million children, 200,000 staff, and 2,600 Head Start programs in the U.S., the association advocates for policies that strengthen its services, provides extensive training and professional development, and develops and disseminates research, information, and resources.

National PTA Logo

National Parent Teacher Association® (PTA®) comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Reach Out and Read Logo

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. ROR builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early-reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The 3.9 million families served annually by ROR read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.