Addressing an Education Crisis in South Africa Offers Solutions Back Home


Unique Collaboration of Nonprofits Focuses on the Whole Student


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 8, 2011) -- A new partnership between San Francisco-based Teach With Africa (TWA) and  The Center for African Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the LEAP Science and Maths Schools (LEAP) in South Africa, promises to bring much-needed resources to improve educational quality for black South African students from economically disadvantaged communities, and to further develop a model of education that has important implications for schools here in the United States.

Despite being abolished over 15 years ago, the lingering impact of apartheid has created an educational and economic crisis in South Africa. High drop-out rates and extremely low rates of passage on the national matric exam for admission to university have perpetuated a cycle of poverty, violence and drug abuse in black townships. Founded in 2004, the LEAP Schools are changing that paradigm through a highly successful systemic school intervention model.   LEAP's partnership with Teach With Africa has addressed the country's teacher shortage by bringing experienced educators from the U.S. to LEAP classrooms. The results have been staggering. In 2003, the year before LEAP founded its first school in Langa, only six out of 650 students in the township qualified for university. In 2008, 100% of the graduating class of the LEAP school passed the qualifying matric exam.

"Our partnership with The Chicago School brings resources that complete the equation," said Amy Schoew, executive director of TWA. "The success of LEAP is in no small part due to its emphasis on the whole student--addressing the psycho-social and emotional issues that impact learning. The Chicago School's deep expertise in multi-cultural training, international psychology, and trauma services will be of tremendous benefit in advancing the LEAP model, both in South Africa and in the U.S."

The Chicago School has significant experience with its own initiatives in Africa. Its Global Hope Training Curriculum, implemented with TCSPP faculty and students in Rwanda and Zambia, has gained significant momentum in addressing the effects of collective trauma by introducing a scalable, train-the-trainer program to teachers and child-care workers.

"This exciting new partnership will allow us to expand and customize our programs to enhance the support of both South African students and teachers," said Dr. Orlando Taylor, campus president of TCSPP in Washington, D.C. "We also look forward to working with TWA as they introduce this model to schools here in the U.S. that struggle with similar issues. The opportunity for reciprocal learning through this partnership can have a truly global impact."

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C. will welcome LEAP founder John Gilmour, Teach With Africa founder Margie Schlenoff, and LEAP School alumni at a private reception celebrating the partnership on February 10, 2011 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Members of the media who would like to attend or otherwise set up an interview should contact


About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is the nation's leading nonprofit graduate school dedicated exclusively to the applications of psychology and related behavioral sciences. The school is an active member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, which has recognized TCSPP for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The school's community service initiatives have resulted in three consecutive years of recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, including the additional "With Distinction" honor in 2010.  In 2009, the school was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual list of "Great Colleges to Work For." Campuses are located in Chicago; in Los Angeles, Westwood, and Irvine, California; and the newest campus in Washington, D.C. Doctoral psychology programs and masters psychology programs are offered on-ground and in an Online format.

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About Teach With Africa

Teach With Africa is a non-profit organization empowering students and teachers by bringing educators to Africa to teach and learn. Teach With Africa supports academic programs, educational leadership initiatives, and community development training by placing experienced educators in underserved schools and centers.  For more information, visit

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Lynne Baker


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