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What’s with the green apple?

The tradition of associating the apple with teachers started in Sweden and Denmark and has been adopted in the United States and other parts of the world. The apple signifies variety and change because it comes in many colors and has different tastes. The apple is also said to represent growth and the need for nurturing, as well as the wisdom passed from teachers to students.

As a symbol of education, the apple is typically seen in red, which we at the Helps Education Fund associate with the excellent work that has been done by educators, parents, scholars and community partners to improve students’ learning. However, there is more to be done, and we use the green apple to symbolize the fact that students and educators need support in a variety of ways—including the unique ways the Helps Education Fund supports educators, parents, and students.

Problems in Education and How Our Approach Addresses Them

Despite the many important advances and successes in education over the past several decades, education facts and statistics reveal that many educators need much more support to ensure that all of their students are successful in school. For example, far too many students struggle with even basic academic skills, such as reading, writing, and math, and too many teachers have inadequate time, resources, and/or training to best support all of their students.

The Helps Education Fund offers a new variety of support for student learning by aligning (a) professional collaboration to solve challenging problems in schools, (b) a research-driven approach to identifying which teaching strategies and tools are feasible to use and most effective for students, and (c) an economically conscious framework for easily getting effective teaching tools into the hands of educators and parents.

As noted elsewhere on our website, our goals are relatively straightforward:

  1. Promote and facilitate authentic collaboration between (a) education researchers and other specialized scholars, including university students, who study particular challenges and concepts related to education; and (b) the educators, sometimes including parents, who work directly (and frequently) with students and also want to solve the same education challenges.
  2. Through this authentic collaboration, ensure that the educators and researchers develop and/or evaluate feasible ways to solve a particular educational challenge (e.g., improving students’ reading comprehension or math skills; enhancing the school’s system for assisting students with behavior difficulties).
  3. With methods that have evidence of being effective in solving the particular challenge, provide the relevant materials and services (e.g., training) for all educators who deal with those same challenges. That is, through the Helps Education Fund, we provide the materials and services for free or at the lowest possible costs.

The general concepts involved with our approach to assisting educators and supporting students’ learning are not entirely new. But the alignment of these concepts—along with our concentrated efforts toward (a) reciprocal collaboration among researchers and school-based educators, and (b) providing research-based materials and services for free—are unique variations on the ways educators are supported.

Thus, the apple is an icon symbolizing the importance of education and the importance of supporting our educators; the green apple symbolizes that new methods of supporting our educators are needed to ensure that all students receive a quality education.