History of Voices
and the Education for Democracy Institute

The Education for Democracy Institute is building on over twenty years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating the Voices curricula.

  • 1992: Established a Comprehensive Community-Based Drug and Violence Prevention Program in Jamaica Plain. The Boston Public Schools and Family, Friends, and Community received a U.S. Dept. of Education Drug Free Schools grant to develop a K-12 comprehensive drug and violence prevention program in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston in 1992. This included six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. As part of this project, Voices of Love and Freedom was developed as a literature-based approach for teaching important social skills and values related to drug and violence prevention.
  • 1995:  Adopted District-Wide as the K-12 Character Education Program for the Boston Public Schools. Voices of Love and Freedom was adopted by the Boston School Committee as its K-12 literature-based character education program. Supported by the Boston Foundation, Barr Foundation, Hayden Foundation, State St. Foundation, Bank of Boston Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, SURDNA, Metropolitan Life, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations.
  • 1998 to 2001: Developed Comprehensive School Reform Model and Reading Program in Memphis. Voices of Love and Freedom developed a comprehensive school reform model and a comprehensive reading program for eight schools in Memphis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Assisi Foundation.
  • 2002 to 2008: Comprehensive School Reform Model In Twenty States. After positive comparative and longitudinal evaluations in Memphis, the Voices School Design was adopted in more than  40 schools as a comprehensive school reform model between 2002 and 2008.
  • 2004: Acquired by Zaner-Bloser Educational Publishers. Zaner-Bloser acquired Voices in 2004 and has published the following programs which are now in over 2000 schools: Voices Reading, Voices Pre-K, Voices Literature and Character Education, Voices Literature & Writing, Voices Leveled Library, and Voices 3C eLessons.
  • 2014: Education for Democracy Institute.  The Education for Democracy Institute was established in 2014 to support research and efficacy studies related to existing Voices products, to provide professional development for these products, and to develop new, digital social and academic programs su;ch as the Peace & Democracy eBooks.

Click here to see press clippings from 1991 to 1995.

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