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Gerald Richards: My 2013 Prediction, Public Schools Become Creativity Engines

As the year draws to a close, we ask the CEO of 826 National, what he thinks will dominate in 2013.

Gerald Richards
Gerald Richards on December 24, 2012. @Gerald826CEO

In 2013, schools and educators will start to focus more on creativity and the skills that used to be considered soft – drive, grit, determination. In a world spurred on by innovation, all of these skills are essential to thinking differently and dreaming bigger. The education system will begin to build more opportunities for students to be creative in the classroom. Discussions about adding art to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education are already underway. At 826 we piloted STEM and Creative Writing workshops at our New York and LA chapters. Other organizations are doing the same understanding that the next breakthrough in any of those fields will come from a creative young mind. Public schools and after school programs will start being looked at as ‘creativity engines.’

We keep talking about people thinking ‘outside of the box’ but for kids there is no box. The next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates won’t be coming out of Harvard or Princeton, they will be coming out of an inner city school or after school program.

826 National / @gerald826CEO

Read more 2013 Predictions here.

TOPICS: Education, Youth
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Gerald Richards

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Gerald Richards is the CEO of 826 National, a network of creative writing and after-school tutoring centers that offer a variety of inventive programs to under-resourced youth, ages 6-18, allowing them to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. With twenty years of management and development experience at national nonprofit organizations, Gerald is a respected trainer and sought after speaker on topics of youth and education access. He has also served as an education expert for national marketing campaigns promoting creativity in and outside the classroom. In 2008, he was named one of 101 African-American Champions for Youth in the Bay Area. Gerald has a BA in Film Studies from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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