Building Assets, Reducing Risks

School Improvement Model to Receive $20 Million in Investing in Innovation Funding for Expansion

November 10, 2016, Center City, Minn.—Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) will be implemented in at least 116 U.S. schools over the next five years as part of a new Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Spurwink Services, Inc. has been selected as a highest-rated applicant for the i3 competition for FY 2016, which will grant $20 million in funding for the scale-up of the BARR model in schools across the country.

"We are excited and grateful for this i3 Scale-up award," says Angela Jerabek, Executive Director, BARR Center. "This funding will extend the powerful student achievement and social emotional outcomes demonstrated through our work with what will be more than 146,000 students and 11,600 staff by 2021.

"Built upon proven strategies that focus on relationships, data, and student strengths, BARR continues to transform our schools, including rural, suburban and urban based schools across the country. A remarkable feature of BARR is that all students are showing gains with the model, which is a testament to the bright future that lies ahead."

The BARR model is the first and only education program supported by all three categories available through the i3 grant program. Developed in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, BARR launched nationally through a 2010 i3 Development grant, has been further refined through the 2013 i3 Validation grant, and is set to further expand through this i3 Scale-up funding. BARR has consistently demonstrated evidence through rigorous evaluation and strong improvements in academic outcomes, graduation rates, and attendance.

This newly funded i3 project: "Same Students. Same Teachers. Better Results. Scaling up the Validated BARR Model", will set the stage for widespread adoption of BARR to help improve low performing schools across the United States. Bipartisan support for the project was received from U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

BARR is a whole-school model for grades 6-12 that provides schools with a comprehensive approach to meeting students' academic, social and emotional needs. The model integrates eight proven strategies to  provide a structure that helps educators build safe, strong, trusting relationships with their students—and these connections pave the way for every student to engage in learning. The BARR model works with a school's existing curriculum and existing staff, and it can be used to attain any specific school goals. Findings from the BARR 2010 i3 Development grant study met What Works Clearinghouse standards without reservation. Hazelden Publishing provides materials, training, coaching, and outreach services for the BARR Center.

"BARR represents our fundamental belief that to foster student success, our system must see each student as a person, a whole-child," said Joe Jaksha, Publisher, Hazelden Publishing. "Only when we approach students from a multiple perspectives can we truly understand them, identify their strengths and guide them to success. Hazelden Publishing has a long history of producing evidence-based programs that support the social and emotional growth of students. BARR takes that one step further by translating social and emotional support into academic improvement."

About Spurwink Services
Spurwink Services, Inc. is a nationally accredited non-profit organization that provides a broad range of behavioral health and educational services across Maine. Spurwink serves as the fiscal agent for the BARR Center, with Susan Savell, Director of the Spurwink Center for Positive Youth Development, acting as the Co-Director of the i3 BARR Validation and Scale-up projects.

About the BARR Center
The BARR Center provides thought leadership, evaluation services, and oversight for the BARR model, its flagship program. As a 501(c) 3 organization, the BARR Center serves as the organizing body for the national BARR network. Learn more on Twitter: @BARRCenter.

About Hazelden Publishing
Hazelden Publishing is the leading provider of evidence-based resources for alcohol and other drug use prevention, violence prevention, and social-emotional learning solutions for students in elementary school through high school and into young adulthood.

Hazelden Publishing is a division of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider offering prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. Learn more at and on Twitter: @hazldnbettyford; @olweus; and @hzldn4educators.

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