Relevant Content + Strong Partnerships = Impact at Scale

Brian Nethero
Sanford Inspire
Published in
4 min readApr 29, 2016

For many ed tech innovations, scaling up is a requirement to achieve the desired impact. How do we expand our reach? What support structures are needed? By collaborating with new, atypical stakeholders for the safety of children, we’re making a massive impact and achieving astounding scalability.

At Sanford Inspire, we believe that each child deserves an inspirational teacher. To that end, we create On-Demand Modules: free, research-based, online professional development. Each micro-course develops teachers’ knowledge, skills, and mindsets around a specific topic of our framework for inspirational teaching.

We ensure teachers have the skills to not only deliver effective lessons but also support the social success and safety of each student.

Earlier this year, Sanford Inspire partnered with the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders program to develop two On-Demand Modules that help teachers recognize abuse and take action to report signs of abuse to child welfare agencies. The resources developed through this collaboration provide a way for teachers to access high-quality, research-based training on child abuse at any time from anywhere in the world. Teachers are now informed and supported in protecting their students from child abuse. Thanks to several strategic partnerships, the impact of these two On-Demand Modules has been much larger than anticipated.

We quickly discovered that free, online resources mixed with extremely relevant content and strong partnerships yield amazing impact.

These two child abuse awareness modules have found an audience far beyond classroom teachers. The Pinal County Attorney’s Office Family Advocacy Centers serve Pinal County, Arizona by creating safe and comfortable settings where victims of sexual and physical abuse can receive assistance and tell their stories. Additionally, these centers offer mandatory reporter trainings to organizations in their communities.

In the past, it has required a significant amount of resources — both time and money — to provide training to over 30 partners a year, including schools, childcare centers, and public service organizations. Moving forward, trainings will be delivered via the free On-Demand Modules, resulting in a considerable cost savings to the center as well as assurance of consistent, high-quality programming. What’s more: this is only 1 of the 17 Family Advocacy Centers in Arizona. We are currently coordinating efforts with the other 16 advocacy centers in Arizona to continue our exponential growth.

“We are privileged and eager to participate in this partnership with Sanford Inspire at ASU. The online training modules ultimately reach a vast number of individuals and this translates into persons intervening on behalf of children who may be abused or neglected — to secure their safety.” Dr. Tascha Spears, Director, Pinal County Attorney's Office Family Advocacy Centers

Given that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are especially eager to share resources that help address this urgent problem. Some studies have suggested that teachers fail to report as many as 75% of the cases of child abuse they encounter (Kemple & Kyoung Kim, 2011). This is unacceptable. While it may feel easy to place blame on teachers, I urge you to reconsider. Most teachers do not receive anywhere near adequate training on recognizing and reporting abuse. In order for teachers to effectively report child abuse, they must first be informed of what symptoms to look out for and what steps to take when signs of abuse or neglect are observed.

These two On-Demand Modules are extremely practical tools, relevant to a very broad base of individuals who interact with children. The scalability has already been proven and the opportunity for impact is immense. Through use of these modules, millions of adults can become more informed and empowered to take the first step in helping a child recover from abuse — get the abuse to stop. By being able to identify and report signs of abuse, we can help children and their families get the help they need.



Brian Nethero
Sanford Inspire

Brian Nethero is the Executive Director of Sanford Inspire. He also really loves his wife, his dog, and food.