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08 April, 2007

MR. FRED STICKNEY AND UPI EDUCATION: CREATING KEY "PIECES OF THE PUZZLE" THAT SHAPE THE MINDS AND SOULS OF OUR CHILDREN

By: D.A. Sears, Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)

He has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA San Francisco for three years and for 11 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA East Bay. He is the founder of the “Latch Key” Youth Development Program concept which was established in the late 1960s in Portland, Oregon – a concept that has grown worldwide. He is the author of numerous articles which have been published in journals and periodicals and has co-authored “Where Do The Children Play” a manual for “Latch Key” Child Development. He also is the author of “Ghana Planning Assistance – Vocational Rehabilitation.” He has conducted a research project in Ghana at the request of the Sister Cities International Program and lectured in Hong Kong, Taiwan, The Philippines, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. During his career, he has created key pieces of the puzzle which have enhanced and continue to enhance our children’s positive intellectual, psychological and physical development. He continues to utilize his talents to empower families and communities. He is Mr. Fred Stickney. Mr. Stickney, who has been active in fundraising and business development for over 35 years and has raised over US$100,000,000 for new projects in the non-profit and for-profit communities, is a key member of a team of individuals that is helping to shape the minds and souls of our children through his affiliation with Unified Progress International Education (“UPI Education”) -- founded in 2004 by Mr. Frank Crump, a successful international businessman – which offers a Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum. Stickney and UPI Education are creating key “pieces of the puzzle” that are positively shaping the minds and souls of our children.

Mr. Stickney carved out time from his very developing schedule to talk about, among other things, UPI Education, its Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum, his affiliation with UPI Education, and what our children need from us.

So, how is Mr. Stickney, a man who has embarked upon a path which has caused him to
become “all things to all people” able to sustain a sense of balance in his life?

“I have chosen to find things that I like to do. My balance is my total involvement with my family and their activities. I have a wonderful wife. I have two daughters and a son and four grandchildren and I talk or e-mail with all of them daily. I am very self-disciplined and choose to consult or write articles because I am interested in learning. My balance comes from years of working on it. The YMCA experience early in my life gave me the principles of a ‘strong mind’, ‘a strong body’, and ‘a strong spirit’, which I have tried to follow all my adult life,” Mr. Stickney responded.

Stickney has demonstrated a strong concern for children through his stewardship of the YMCA in San Francisco and East Bay, the founding of the “Latch Key” Youth Development Program concept in Portland, Oregon, the authoring of numerous articles and a manual and his current affiliation with UPI Education and its Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum. Why?

“I believe the heritage of our world is through the positive nurturing and growth of our children. Through my YMCA experience I learned how to administer and provide programs for youth of all backgrounds and in urban and rural areas. I feel strongly about children having opportunities to participate in activities that broaden their horizons. I directed camps for ten years and saw how much children learned from outdoor experiences. I founded and managed child day care programs which provided safe and secure environments for children. I am currently the Volunteer Chair of the Board of Directors of the NorCal Volleyball Club, which is a non-profit organization that serves girls aged 12-18 years of age. There are ten teams, twenty-two coaches, a sizable budget and the bonus is to watch two of my granddaughters play for the club. I’m able to give my expertise and enjoy valuable time with my family. Non-profit agencies are able to offer a variety of programs for children of all ages. The collaboration of non-profit agencies and the educational system need to continue to work together to support the broad life experience that children need,” Mr. Stickney explained.

The discussion moved to Mr. Stickney’s affiliation with UPI Education. Mr. Stickney talked about his role at UPI Education, its Founder – Mr. Frank Crump – and its team of leaders which include Dr. James Comer from Yale University and Mr. Tom Fleming of New Haven, Connecticut.

“I met Frank Crump, the founder of UPI Education and I liked his vision, his energy and concepts for the program. I am a consultant to UPI Education and have enjoyed being involved with its team of leaders, such as Dr. James Comer from Yale University and Tom Fleming of New Haven, Connecticut who have demonstrated the successes of UPI Education within the education process. UPI Education is a program that will enrich the educational experience for students. It will provide a curriculum that prepares students for the future -- and the quicker traditional educational systems adopt the UPI programs, the better off our society will be,” Stickney remarked.

UPI Education has a Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum. It is reported that UPI Life Skills
SolutionsTM curriculum has produced a 16.4% increase in the grade point average in schools, a 23.6% reduction in school absences and an astonishing reduction in school disciplinary actions. How is this possible? How is UPI Education through its Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum able to achieve what a number of parents, school administrators, and educators have not? Is there a magic formula?

“I think we would be stretching it to say there was a magic formula, despite the fact that many people, myself included, find the percentages to be magical to the ear,” Stickney replied with a wry smile. “The possibilities of UPI’s educational process are endless and in fact, the entire process of UPI’s program is inclusive of and encompasses educators, administrators, and parents as they rally in support of UPI’s instructional materials and method of training; given the obvious benefits to the student(s). UPI exemplifies what can be accomplished and these accomplishments will be magnified when the above mentioned are joined by corporations, foundations, concerned individuals and government leaders who are committed to solving the ‘real problems’ which demise our current educational process and future outlook for our youth.”

What does the fact that there is a need for a program such as UPI Education’s Life Skills
SolutionsTM curriculum say about the state of affairs of education in the United States? In your view what are we doing wrong? What are we doing right?

Mr. Stickney offered the following:

“The state of affairs of education in the United States has been readily documented and the bottom line is that our current system does not have all the answers and we have much room for improvement. Further, we must make a concerted effort to correct it and if necessary change the way we view education and the process thereof. Otherwise, the entire fabric of our nation and life as we have known it will suffer. The forefathers of our great nation fully understood the value of education as it relates to the growth, development, and longevity of a nation. It’s important that we maintain such an understanding and, in fact, truly ‘Leave no child behind.’ UPI Education represents just one piece of the puzzle. The key to the puzzle will require that those with the ability to implement change within the vast historic past of education in America – open up their minds to the pieces of the puzzle that lie before them and act accordingly. Many have begun to realize that we cannot address these new problems with old worn-out tools. To this end, we are on the right-track and doing the right thing,” Mr. Stickney observed.

The focus of our discussion shifted to the life skills that are taught to students enrolled in UPI Education’s Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum – life skills such as conflict resolution, balancing a check book and career goals. Are these skills not being taught in our homes or in our schools? Are our children who spend twelve years in our educational system graduating without knowing how to balance a check book, resolve conflicts and prepare for a career?

“Many of the parents of our children have themselves been victims of our current educational system. Thus, when we truly look into the homes we find a lack of ability to teach the necessary life skills such as balancing a check book or setting realistic career goals. Likewise, most schools do not have a life skills curriculum and focus on teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic as their core set of courses -- in an attempt to meet national standards. Again, I’ll repeat: ‘The poor results of the above have been readily documented’. So, yes, many children who spend twelve years in our educational system are graduating without life skills knowledge, and for the many that drop out of school, they are ill prepared to live in a normal society. The result of a poor educational process is inextricably tied to other societal problems such as drug use, crime, incarceration, pregnancy and a number of repeatable negative cycles,” Stickney said with unflinching honesty.

In what ways will UPI Education’s Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum provide our children with the tools that they will need to successfully compete in a global marketplace when they reach adulthood?

“I think I can best answer that question by quoting Mr. Frank Crump, the Founder of UPI Education. Mr. Crump has said: ‘The UPI Education life skills curriculum is a training program designed to prepare students for the rigors of life. Exploring life’s most challenging obstacles, the curriculum makes sense of it all and allows a student to open their mind to the social, economic, and political possibilities that exist for themselves and those around them. The curriculum is designed to teach students what society will expect and demand of them and what it will take for success. UPI concentrates on developing a good citizen, one capable of contributing to the school community and society at large,” Stickney commented.

So, in Mr. Stickney’s view, whose responsibility is it to equip our children with the tools that they will need to successfully compete in a global marketplace when they reach adulthood? Does this responsibility lie solely with parents? Or is it a responsibility that should be shared with parents, academic institutions and concerned citizens?

“The responsibility has to be shared. The parents begin the process, the schools extend the process, concerned citizens, businesses and corporations share the entire process. The priority of all countries must be the goal to integrate the education process within our society,” says Stickney.

What are the necessary steps which need to be taken to positively shape the minds and souls of our children? Whose responsibility is it to positively shape the minds and souls of our children? Does the responsibility lie solely with parents? Is this a responsibility that should be shared with parents, academic and religious institutions and concerned members of our communities?

“The responsibility to positively shape the minds and spirit of our children is shared by parents, academic institutions, faith-based organizations, and the entire community encompassing both business and social aspects. Much of the failure of our education systems has been because of lack of funding and priorities of our communities. Our communities must place children as the top priority in the funding of education and provide resources for new and innovative programs such as UPI.”

If a parent wants to enroll their child in UPI Education’s Life Skills SolutionsTM curriculum or wants to have the curriculum instituted in their school district or community, what should they do? How can one learn more about what UPI Education’s Life Skills Curriculum SolutionsTM has to offer?

“To learn more about UPI Education one should visit the website www.upieducation.org. UPI Education is a non-profit, tax deductible 501(c)(3). Parents interested in instituting UPI Education within their school district or community should contact Heather Taylor at 818-990-3378. Likewise, parents and educators should inform their mayor, school superintendent and elected officials about UPI Education and get them involved in the process of bringing UPI to their school and community,” Mr. Stickney advised.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I should email my friend about this.

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