Jul 19 2018, 12:30 PM EDT

Putting the Whole Child at the Center of Education – A Luncheon Discussion

Thursday, July 19, 2018

In partnership with the Stuart Foundation, the Forum for Youth Investment and the Learning Policy Institute held an engaging conversation over lunch to discuss how to spark a Whole Child Challenge in communities across America. 

The opportunity to spark a broad call to action was ignited by the Stuart Foundation’s President Jonathan P. Raymond. Jonathan is the former superintendent of Sacramento Public Schools. Wildflowers: A School Superintendent’s Challenge to America, is his recounting of what it took to stay true to a commitment to engage the whole community in support of the whole child, which Jonathan describes as “SEL in action.”

The Whole Child Challenge Jonathan puts forth is bold because it is simple. The challenge is not to adopt a model or complete a checklist. The challenge is to think differently so that, when faced with decisions, we not only act differently, we are more motivated to act together. Jonathan challenges all of us—from families, to educators, to community and public leaders—to place children at the center of every policy, every debate, and every decision made about K-12 education, allowing us to witness the transformation that blooms when students have a voice, and teachers are freed to teach the head, the heart, and the hands.

Jonathan offered brief comments about his motivation for writing the book as a way to spark the challenge. He was then joined by a panel of whole child champions, who built on themes that resonated with them in the book by sharing their stories. We then invited all participants to share their stories in facilitated table discussions.


  • Stephanie Krauss, Director of Special Projects, Jobs for the Future
  • David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow,  American Institutes for Research
  • Karen Pittman, Co-Founder, President, & CEO, Forum for Youth Investment
  • Lupi Quinteros-Grady, President & CEO, Latin American Youth Center
  • Jonathan Raymond, President, Stuart Foundation
  • Patrick Shields, Executive Director, Learning Policy Institute

 Creating a compelling vision is a powerful force…. [Our vision] was about educating and developing the whole child, or what I refer to as educating the head, the heart, and the hands. It means creating challenging and relevant courses; promoting college and career-themed pathways; and making our schools and classrooms greener, healthier, and more sustainable places to work and learn.
—Jonathan P. Raymond, President, Stuart Foundation