The Creative Education Institute (CEI) was founded in 1992 as a 501(c)(3) by Chairman John Kusik and President Carole Richards. Since CEI’s inception, all funds raised have gone directly to the projects it has decided to support.
The mission of the Creative Education Institute is to effect change through improved literacy.
Through Carole’s success with her for-profit tutoring company, North Coast Education Services (NCES), she sought to provide education services to low-income children and adults in the Greater Cleveland area. NCES provides office space, phones, equipment, office supplies, and support staff to CEI at no cost.
The Creative Education Institute has partnered with CEO Eric Gordon of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to develop the Richards Learning Systems® (RLS) literacy project. Twenty-seven kindergarten to 2nd grade classrooms will participate in the initial project.
Richards Learning Systems® blends a cost-effective and time-efficient teacher training program with teachable and effective reading program for children. The program is currently in development with the intent to launch in 2017.
CEI developed and operates the Academic Fun & Fitness Camp for campers ages 6 to 19 with learning disabilities. The camp includes morning multi-sensory reading and math skill developed. In the afternoon, campers participate in a wide variety of activities to develop social skills, including theatre arts, hands-on science activities, art and music therapy, martial arts, sports and much more.
This unique and well-respected six-week camp was developed in 2000. Parents and school districts recognize the program as a special place where kids can improve skills, have fun, and be “just kids”.
Every year through generous financial support, CEI is able to provide partial camp scholarships to qualified campers.
The Creative Education Institute has successfully trained teachers in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Bedford City School District, and Euclid City School District. In addition, CEI has trained individual teachers from many districts and parochial and private schools.
A research study was conducted by CEI on the effects of basic skills training in nine Cleveland companies. Many workers participated in the interview and assessments process and each company ran multiple classes.
Research studies from Bedford, Euclid, and the Cleveland companies are available upon request.
CEI developed and ran the A to Z Welfare to Work Program for four and one-half years, successfully employing 75% of its participants for more than one year. (This is statistically significant because a larger program — with a $12 million budget — employed only 12 people for just six months.)
The A to Z Welfare to Work Program included reading and math skills, life skills, social skills and work experience. Participants were guaranteed jobs at the end of an internship by the company where they interned.
This program was featured in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Best Practices Magazine for welfare reform. One of its foundation funders replicated the program in New England because it was so successful and unique.
From her experience as the founder and Executive Director of North Coast Education Services, Carole identified a tremendous need for effective methods in improving basic skills. This led her to to form the not-for-profit Creative Education Institute (CEI) in 1992. She is a very active spokeswoman for CEI.
In addition to his position as Chief Operation Officer of RLS, John is the Director of Marketing for North Coast Education Services, founder and principle of Focus Communications, past-president and founder of International Publishing Group, past-president and board chair of Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland, and was a member of the Small Business Council of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
Sharon has a wealth of experience managing students and teachers in a wide variety of programs. Her incredible people skills and organizational skills have made her a perfect fit as the on-site camp director for the Academic Fun & Fitness Camp and the manager for the Richards Learning Systems® Project. A retired classroom teacher, Sharon has more than thirty years of teaching experience. She is our “good will ambassador”.