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About Us: Basic Facts

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How we got started

With pilot funding from the Ford Foundation in fall 2009, we started off with a goal shared by many in Somerville: supporting community collaboration in young people's success. Many of Somerville's students, families, educators, leaders, and technologists wanted to experiment (or were experimenting) with tools and strategies to spark and support everyday partnership in and around their diverse, mixed-income, and multilingual community. We used Ford funding to support projects already rolling in the community and to spark others that hadn’t yet begun. A grant from the Digital Media and Learning Hub at UC Irvine, of the MacArthur Foundation, helped us finish this documentation and share some initial ¡Ahas!. For more on our participatory design research approach, click here! Click here to see mini descriptions of all projects, or just go check out any project via the sidebar.


Somerville (population approx. 77,000) represents the diversity, complexity, and typical divisions of a large city, in terms of languages (42), racial-ethnic groups (with large Central American, Brazilian, and Haitian immigrant populations), and economic groups (with a long working class and college-student history, and recent explosion of young professionals and white middle class families). According to the state, 63% of all students in the SPS are members of “racial/ethnic minority” groups, and 68% receive free and reduced price lunch. People often talk about there being multiple "Villes" -- new gentrifiers, new immigrants, and an longstanding white working class. There's also a fourth "Ville" of local university students and grads. It's been the perfect place to explore ways of supporting collaboration across One "Ville"!

Our Team

(This is only a partial list of the many people who have contributed to this project, either with great ideas or with many hours of their time!)

Mica Pollock, Uche Amaechi, Seth Woodworth, Susan Klimczak, Alice Mello, Consuelo Perez, Jedd Cohen, Tona Delmonico, Gina d’Haiti, Sofia Perez, Will Thalheimer, Dave Sullivan, Tracy Sullivan, Michelle Thompson, Josh Wairi, Jen Capuano, Maria Gemma Cruz, Greg Nadeau, Christine Rafal, Bern Ewah, Maria Carvalho, Lupe Ojeda, Ivanete Calmon, Veronaise Chaiki, Adriana Guereque, Maria Oliveira, Manoj Archarya, Claudia Ramos, Michele Arroyo-Staggs, Rachel Toon, Healey students, Michael Quan, Marisa Wolsky, other Healey parents and teachers, Mo Robichaux, Ted O’Brien, David Willey, Shelia Harris, Sally Brith, Maryanne Beaton, Tim Dunphy, Kini Griffin, Edith Medeiros, other Full Circle/Next Wave teachers and students, HGSE graduate student texting mentors, Sabrina Trinca, Michelle Li, Chris Glynn, Michael Maloney, Sibby LaGambina, other SHS eportfolio students and teachers (see eportfolio section), Vince McKay, Tony Pierantozzi, John Breslin, Gretchen Kinder, Jason DeFalco, Purnima Vadhera, Tony Ciccariello, Regina Bertholdo, other PIC staff, Marlon Ramdehal, Lisa Brukilacchio, Mark Niedergang, Adam Sweeting, EliJAH Starr, Sooz Kaup, Caroline Meeks, Andi Tepper, Derek Redfern, Franklin DaLembert, Lince Semerzier, Kathleen Jones, Stephanie Hirsch, Sarah Davila, Ana Maria Nieto, Warren Goldstein-Gelb, Rusty Carlock, Maggie Ward, Evan Burchard, David Lord, Barry Stein, Joe Beckmann, Al Willis, and Mark Tomizawa

Schools and Community Organizations

K-8 Healey School: working with data dashboards and the Parent Connector Network
Somerville High School: working with ePortfolios
Full Circle/Next Wave: working to test texting
Clarendon Hill Housing Authority/Haitian Coalition: working on computer infrastructure