Learning doesn’t just happen inside the classroom, and summer is an important time for students to discover a passion, foster creativity, learn important skills, and develop new relationships. Summer learning loss is a major problem that is cumulative over time, meaning each summer we allow under-resourced students to remain isolated from learning, opportunity and achievement gaps widen. Blueprint4Summer, created by Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder and Clark-Fox Family Foundation CEO Maxine Clark, is a free and easy-to-use web app helping to alleviate the burden of searching for summer program opportunities. Learn about the impact Blueprint4Summer is having in St. Louis, and plans to partner to bring Blueprint4Summer to Colorado in 2018.
About the speakers:
CEO / Co-Founder of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation
Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide.
In June 2013, Maxine stepped down from her Chief Executive Bear role to apply her entrepreneurial skills to her passion for improving K-12 public education and to invest in and mentor women and minority entrepreneurs. Maxine credits her teachers as her foundation for success—classroom teachers and mentors alike. To honor them she gives back. Her next “act” is to make public education much more consumer friendly by creating more access for families and students to systems and supports to enrich each child’s learning experience. Launched in 2015, is her first product, Blueprint4SummerSTL, a free and easy-to-use mobile app designed to help ALL families navigate the best summer activities for their children. Her latest venture is the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore into a multi-use real estate development to open in Spring, 2019. Maxine is also a Managing Partner of Prosper Women’s Capital, a St. Louis based fund created to invest in women owned businesses in the St. Louis area and a member of the Board of Advisors of Lewis & Clark Ventures, a St. Louis based private equity firm. Click here to read Maxine's full bio.
Senior Programs Manager of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation
Allie Cicotte serves as the Senior Programs Manager for the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and Project Manager for Blueprint4SummerSTL. She graduated from Truman State University with bachelor’s degrees in German and Spanish. Allie then joined Teach for America where she taught Kindergarten-8th grade Spanish, and then transitioned to teaching Kindergarten. While teaching, she loved working with students directly, integrating innovative approaches alongside traditional classroom curriculum, and learning new things about the educational landscape both nationally and in St. Louis.
During this time, she also got involved with a local non-profit organization where she served on the Board called The Disruption Department. The Disruption Department is developing a pipeline for high-tech talent in St. Louis by offering the opportunity for every student in St. Louis to become a Maker. To be a Maker is to be a problem solver, a critical thinker, a techie, and one who appreciates the process of creating a prototype, testing, and implementing feedback into your design is just as important as the final product.
She saw a bigger opportunity to support families, schools, and students through work with The Clark-Fox Family Foundation. In her role as Senior Programs Manager she seeks to create products and programs designed to create better experiences for all constituents, higher engagement, and successful children in the community.