Our Clients’ Work Shines: Collaborative Wins Six Honors at 22nd Annual Communicator Awards



At Collaborative we are committed to excellence. This is evidenced by our clients, who we are honored to work with, and the incredible work our clients produce. And while we believe good work speaks for itself, there is also something to be said for outside recognition of such work.

For the past three years Collaborative has participated in The Communicator Awards to highlight the work our clients do and to pay tribute to our shared commitment to excellence. Each year we’ve entered, our clients’ work has been honored..






We are thrilled to announced that for the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards, six of our clients received an award, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them and celebrating this tremendous achievement.


Penguin Young Readers Group and Baltimore’s Summer Reading Program

Everyday Hereos Poster

Every Hero Has a Story: Read to Unlock Them!
Winner, Award of Excellence for Print & Design


This poster represents a collaboration between Penguin Young Readers Group and the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign that got young people excited about reading and writing across Baltimore. As part of our work promoting Brad Meltzer’s Real Heroes children’s book series, we reached out to the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign to see if we could help their mission of engaging youth in reading over the summer. A few weeks later, we developed this poster promoting Baltimore’s summer reading campaign, Every Hero Has a Story, which encouraged children to write their own hero stories. Christopher Eliopoulos designed the poster and designed book covers for the five winning stories. When you work with people that are passionate about youth, amazing things happen.


The World Bank Group, a collaborative effort with Social Driver

World Bank STEP Video
Winner, Award of Distinction for Video & Commercial


Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement, or STEP, is an online planning and tracking system for World Bank projects. It transforms data into knowledge, speeds up the procurement process, and improves accountability and transparency–driving results for better development. Watch the video above to learn more.


The George W. Bush Institute

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.51.57 PM (2)

The North America Competitiveness Scorecard
Winner, Award of Distinction for Interactive Media


The George W. Bush Institute created The North America Competitiveness Scorecard as a tool to compare the competitive position of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as a region, relative to other major economic regions and countries with large economies. The Scorecard provides the opportunity to see at a glance how well North America—country by country and altogether—is performing in the global economy. The Scorecard enables users to compare any countries they wish, look at economic data over time, and examine the economic performance of entire regions.


The QED Group, LLC.


Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


Developed in support of the National Forum on the State of the Ugandan Child, held in Kampala in October 2015, Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda is a major report and call to action that lays out the National Action Plan for Child Well-Being, as well as the numerous challenges facing children in Uganda. The report also articulates strong goals for addressing those challenges to improving outcomes for children in the country.


College Success Arizona


Doubling Arizona’s Economic Growth: The Potential Fiscal and Social Gains From Increasing Postsecondary Attainment
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


College Success Arizona released this report in January 2016. The report shows that raising the post-secondary attainment rate has the potential to double Arizona’s economic growth, equating to $660,000 per additional college graduate. The report was the second in their series of publications that highlight the economic and social importance of increasing the number of students that enroll and stay in post-secondary education, and graduate with a degree or certificate.


National Afterschool Association Convention

MyAfterschoolStory Template


View the Twitter campaign here.

Winner, Award of Distinction for Content & Marketing

For the 2015 National AfterSchool Association Convention, we chose a theme of Passionate Professionals, Powerful Stories to help our audience of 1,500 afterschool professionals tell their stories. As part of this, we designed a template for users to print, customize and share their story with the hashtag #MyAfterschoolStroy. By asking them to share their stories, they had to think about themselves: why they do what they do, what drew them to afterschool, what afterschool programs did they do as a kid and why it all matters. Hundreds responded with their stories, ranging from personal growth after tragedy to their goals for the future of afterschool. By digging a little deeper and having these dedicated educators think about themselves, we connected them to a larger community of like-minded peers, highlighted what they have in common in their personal histories and beliefs, helped them to refine their stories and encouraged them to keep telling their stories.

We are honored to participate in The Communicator Awards, and we extend our congratulations to our partners and collaborators who have helped make our work and their work shine.

The Communicator Awards are presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA), and serve to honor achievements in marketing and communication across a range of mediums and platforms.

Think Affordable Afterschool Isn’t an Important Issue? Think Again

By Shawn Griffin

Last week NPR told the story of Jennifer Carter, currently living at a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah with her five- and seven-year old. Jennifer’s story is representative of a trend. According to The American Almanac of Family Homelessness, the typical homeless family in the U.S. includes a single mom and one or two children.

By all accounts Jennifer had done things right. She earned a degree in business management and accounting. She had a full-time job and worked during the day while her kids were in school. She had an apartment and the family was getting by. She stretched her $13.50 per hour wage to cover rent on a two-bedroom apartment and a staggering $800 per month for afterschool care for her two children.

$800 per month. Two children, two hours per day, five days per week. Four weeks a month. Nearly as much as her $900 per month rent. Jennifer was barely getting by, but she was getting by.

That all changed when her work hours were changed to evenings. There was no way she could afford increased afterschool costs for her kids.

In Jennifer’s case, the cost of caring for her children while she was at work was the tipping point. Her family ended up in a shelter. It’s stories like this—affecting families across the country—that inspired me to share my expertise at the Beyond Housing Conference sponsored by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homeless January 13-15 in New York City.

It is not okay that families make up nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S. It is not okay that nearly 1.3 million children in the US are homeless at some point every year (National Child Traumatic Stress Network). It is not okay that families are losing their homes because they have to choose between affordable afterschool programs and a job.

It is time to do something. So I’m joining hundreds of practitioners, policymakers and service providers to help figure this out. I want to contribute to a solution that ensures Jennifer Carter’s kids don’t have to go to school tired because they are sleeping in a loud common room with 198 other people. I want to ensure moms don’t have to lose their homes because they can’t afford afterschool programs for their kids. I won’t tolerate 1.3 million children homeless each year in the US. Join me and fellow practitioners, policymakers, and service providers to share new and effective programs, solutions, and policies aimed at reducing poverty and homelessness among children and families. Register today at http://bit.ly/BeyondHousing2016.

Proof Point Day

Incubated through the Aspen Institute and its Paraha-Aspen Education Fellows program, May 30 is the start of a new effort, Proof Point Day. As explained by the Aspen Institute, Proof Point Day is intended to start a national conversation on first-generation college students and the challenges they face in achieving that sought-after college diploma.

This is an important conversation for all of us to participate in. While we regularly talk about the importance of postsecondary education or the need to return the United States to glory as the country with the highest percentage of college graduates, we can often sell short those factors that are so important to determining college success, particularly among first-generation goers. We can often lose sight of the motivations, supports and encouragement necessary to both get first-generation college students into postsecondary opportunities and then to help them ultimately earn their degrees. We can overlook that it all starts with making sure high school students recognize they are college material, regardless of their socioeconomic or educational backgrounds.

Across the nation, individuals and organizations are sharing stories of first-generation college goers on social media, using the hashtag #ProofPointDay. I’ve written about the most important first-generation college goer on the Eduflack blog here. As we reflect on helping first-generation college goers earn their college degrees, it is also valuable to look at the work being led by groups such as the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation. As #ProofPointDay talks about the issue, groups like the Foundation and many others like it are acting, day in and day out, to help these students get to college while providing them the financial and mentoring supports to be the first in their families to earn a college degree.

The true proof is found in those groups and individuals who are preparing kids for college, helping them earn admission, making it financially possible and helping them through all the twists and turns one encounters from freshman orientation to donning the cap and gown.

Top Down or Bottom Up – Two Approaches to Funding Education

One of the most important roles of state government is to fund public education. Funding such an important, but inherently divisive function invites equal amounts of kudos and criticism. This post, the first in a series, sets up further discussion about how state governments balance constituent desires, state budget realities and social good to create quality education systems. Continue reading

The end of InBloom and the future of education data systems

Imagine your community was developing a new data initiative for health care.  Your primary care physician could enter your medical information into a secure system to let other medical professionals access your records to ensure you get the best health care possible. You end up in another doctor’s office or emergency room and staff can get immediate access to your medical history—allergies, blood type, medications, surgeries, medical directives, living wills.

Additionally, this system would provide doctors with information that was not personally identifiable to you but would advance their ability to prevent and treat diseases. This has the potential to revolutionize health care. This data system had made great progress. Then it was suddenly shut down.

This happened this week—but it wasn’t in health care.  It was in education. Continue reading

Testing and the “mainstream”ing of assistive digital tools

For years, as the use of online adaptive assessments has continued to increase, many have wondered how technology-focused testing would impact students with disabilities.

As part of its Technology Counts 2014 series, Education Week offers an interesting look at how states are taking the assistive digital tools used for students with disabilities and moving them “into the mainstream.”

While it is clear this is still a developing subject, the piece by Michelle Davis provides some interesting insights into what states like Virginia are already doing. And it shows how digital technology has the power to bring all corners of the learning community together to focus on student needs and opportunities.

Technology, Innovation and Edupreneurs

Innovation plays a powerful role in school improvement and educational transformation. For years, we have heard from leaders like Clayton Christensen speak and write on the impact of disruptive innovation. We have witnessed not-for-profit organizations, startups, individuals and even public entities embody that philosophy, looking for new and exciting ways to teach kids, improve instruction and better our community.

Tom Vander Ark, the founder and CEO of Getting Smart, offered up his thoughts of the “110 Interesting Edupreneurs at SxSW.” And it is indeed an impressive list. Vander Ark provides a thought-provoking list of those individuals looking to improve education in new and thought-providing ways. Continue reading

Technology and Early Learning Classrooms

Researchers, educators, pediatricians and passersby warn parents against putting smart phones and tablets in children’s hands too much and too early. I dare you, though, to find a parent that has never given their child a smart phone or tablet to avoid a potential meltdown.

What should parents believe? Will too-early exposure to technology ruin their children or help them grow into the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? Interesting research is emerging that can help parents and educators understand the promise and pitfalls of using technology to support children’s early learning. Continue reading

“Just Have Coffee”

In education, we seem to deal in absolutes far too frequently. Positions are black or white. You are either with us or against us. Friend or foe. Right or wrong. There is far too little gray. And we are far too dismissive of those with different opinions or a different take on the same perspective. Continue reading