Barbara Cervone is founder and president of What Kids Can Do, Inc and its nonprofit publishing arm, Next Generation Press. Previously, she coordinated Walter H. Annenberg’s $500 million “Challenge” to reform America’s schools—at the time the largest private initiative to reform public education in U.S. history—from its inception in January 1994 until June 2000.
From 1984 to 1993, Dr. Cervone served as associate director of the Rhode Island Foundation, one of the United States’ ten largest community foundations. She has been a consultant in program evaluation and an investigator for several national education research projects. She has contributed dozens of articles and book chapters about her work with youth and school reform, edited five photo essay books with youth as co-authors, and has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at conferences throughout the US. In the 1970's she started and oversaw a network of alternative high schools in eight states.
From 2005 - 2015, Dr. Cervone also worked directly with you in China, Eastern Europe, England, Ethiopia, India, and Tanzania on media projects—videos, audio slideshows, blogs—through which youth document and comment on life around them, especially social issues that affect them deeply. In December 2008, Dr. Cervone received the prestigious “Purpose Prize” from the U.S.-based Civic Ventures. She has an M.A.T. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Kathleen Cushman is a writer who has specialized in education and school reform for almost two decades. Her work has appeared in the Harvard Education Letter, Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, and many other national magazines. Cushman has been writer and editor of two school reform journals, Horace and Challenge Journal. She is the author or co-author of ten books, including Fires in the Mind (Jossey-Bass, 2010), First in the Family (Next Generation Press, 2005, 2006), Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students (New Press, 2003), Schooling for the Real World with Adria Steinberg and Rob Riordan (Jossey-Bass, 2000) and The Real Boys Workbook, with William S. Pollack (Random House, 2001). She lives in New York City.
Consultants and other staff
AAA Foray (Sandra Delany), graphic design, Rehoboth, MA
Jay Douglas, web design, New York, NY
Montana Miller, associate professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University, OH
Azure Osborn-Lee, transcription (and actor), New York, NY
Zoe Pappenheimer, video consultant, Northhampton, MA
Ben Pender-Culip, video consultant, Somerville, MA
Justin Samaha, audio consultant, New York, NY
Andrew Reed Weller and Andrew Beardswotth, photographers, New York, NY
Abe Louise Young, poet, writer and educator, Austin, TX
Y-Press was a youth-led news bureau in Indianapolis, IN. From 2008 - 2012, WKCD partnered with youth journalists at YPress to produce a regular series of articles and stories that offered youth perspectives on a range of important issues. YPress journalists produced our 2008 series "Kids on the Campaign Trail" and our 2012 series on youth and the presidential election. YPress closed its doors in 2012.
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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”
– Deborah Meier, educator