The Hill Center, Inc.

At a Glance

National Office: 
3200 Pickett Road
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-489-7464

Dr. Shary Maskel
People Served: 
5,390
Year Founded: 
1977
Tax ID: 
56-2089788

Focus area(s):

Teacher & Principal Training
K-12 Reform
Reading/Math

Description

The Hill Center’s mission is to transform students with learning differences into confident, independent learners and is a nationally-recognized program that significantly improves academic achievement through its research-validated Hill Methodology.  Hill offers a model K-12 academic program in Durham, North Carolina and extends its reach and impact to public school students through professional development and training programs for teachers and administrators.   Specifically, Hill improves educational outcomes for K-12 students who struggle with reading by training teachers to implement its research-validated Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP).  In 2011-2012 Hill trained over 2500 teachers and is currently partnering with public schools to improve reading achievement across seven North Carolina school districts in 47 cities.

Impact and Outcomes

In implementation with over 300 students in grades 3-6 from 2009-2011 in Brunswick County, NC, HillRAP students demonstrated notable growth on end of grade tests, with the percentage of students scoring at or above grade level increasing from 5.2% to 31.8% after two years of implementation.
The Brunswick County study also found the percentage of students who scored at lowest levels decreased by more than half, from 71.1% to 26.6%.
Similarly, in a HillRAP project implemented in Carteret County, NC during 2008 and 2009, the percentage of students who scored at or above grade level more than doubled, from 9.43% prior to HillRAP to 28.3% after one year; the percentage of students who scored at the lowest level decreased by more than half, from 64.1% to 30.19%.

Mission & Goals

The mission of The Hill Center is to transform students with learning differences into confident, independent learners. 

With an innovative, research-validated educational solution for the problem of school failure, The Hill Center is undertaking a “Sharing the Solution” scale-up initiative to significantly increase its social impact and help greater numbers of struggling readers achieve academic success. Scale-up will be accomplished through a “Promote a Model” approach that will scale-out geographically across eastern North Carolina—demonstrating significant regional impact and ultimately influencing policy in North Carolina and beyond.

Program

 

Hill has a scalable solution for reading failure that is ready for national distribution. Multiple research projects demonstrate that teachers anywhere can be taught to implement Hill’s Combined Curriculum and Instructional Process approach to improve reading achievement for students who struggle with learning to read. In Hill’s model, teachers are trained to identify skill deficits, establish a starting point for remediation, and provide targeted intervention on a 4:1 basis to address skill deficits. This approach is effective with diverse populations of struggling learners, including those with learning disabilities, English Language learners, low IQ, and those who have failed one or more grades.

Hill has documented its successful program results for over 30 years—and has participated in five independent evaluation studies of its public school reading intervention projects in North Carolina. One study was a 5-year project funded by the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in which teachers of 151 at–risk children in Durham public schools were trained to implement the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP). Independent evaluation by RTI International demonstrated that students reversed their pattern of falling behind in reading to progressing at a rate faster than expected of the average student—thus, narrowing the achievement gap. Students in the program were 70% minority, 61% were eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, 79% received EC services, 52% had below average IQ, 14% were ELL, and 63% had repeated a grade. Since completion of that study, additional research studies by the Duke Center for Child and Family Study and the University of North Carolina Wilmington have yielded comparable gains for diverse populations of students in additional districts, including rural commun

Hill has an innovative and scalable solution for the problem of reading failure that is ready for national distribution. Multiple research studies demonstrate that teachers anywhere can be taught to implement the HillRAP curriculum and instructional process approach to improve reading achievement for students who are struggling with learning to read.

In the Hill Reading Achievement Program model (HillRAP), teachers are provided a 3-day professional development training that enables them to efficiently identify and remediate individual student’s skill deficits while working with a small group of four students at a time. HillRAP’s power and efficiency emanates from its individualized approach that targets and remediates each student’s deficits. This is more efficient than traditional remediation programs that require groups of students to progress together and at the same rate—with every student working on the same skill area every day. With HillRAP, each student works only on areas he/she has not yet mastered. Each student can achieve as fast as he/she is able, without being held back by the rest of the group. To ensure fidelity, Hill-trained teachers are observed and mentored as they implement the HillRAP intervention. 

HillRAP has been proven to be effective in implementation with diverse populations of struggling learners, including those identified with learning disabilities, those who have failed one or more grades, and with English Language Learners.

Impact

Hill has over ten years’ experience working with public schools implementing its HillRAP Program Model. Multiple research studies by RTI International, Duke University, and UNC Wilmington document the success of Hill programs with struggling readers, many of whom were 2 to 3 years below grade level prior to participation.

The first study was a 5-year project funded by the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in which teachers of 151 at-risk and high-risk students in Durham Public Schools were trained to implement HillRAP. Independent evaluation conducted by RTI International demonstrated that students reversed their pattern of falling behind in reading to progressing at a rate faster than expected of the average student—thus narrowing the achievement gap. Students in the program were 70% minority, 61% were eligible for free and reduced price lunch, 79% received Exceptional Children’s services, 52% had below average IQ, 14% were English Language Learners, and 63% had repeated a grade. The study was published as a journal article in 2009 (Downing, J., Williams, J., & Holden, E.W.,  Evaluating the effectiveness of a reading remediation program in a public school setting, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 25(3):270-285). (see attached file)

Since completion of that first HillRAP study, additional studies by Duke University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington have yielded comparable gains for diverse populations of students in additional districts, including rural communities. Recent HillRAP projects independently evaluated by UNC Wilmington have shown HillRAP to be effective in moving over 400 students from lower levels to higher levels on state End-of-Grade reading tests in two school districts in eastern North Carolina, as well as on nationally-normed tests of reading achievement.

Growth Plan

Hill has developed a detailed plan for scaling and was proud to be selected as the Mezzanine Stage Winner of the 2013 Social Impact Exchange National Business Plan Competition. 

Hill proposes to scale its Hill Reading Achievement Program through a "Promote a Model" approach that will scale-out geographically into eastern North Carolina school districts, and then across North Carolina and beyond.  Hill’s intensive reading remediation program enables trained teachers to address gaps in skills for students ages 3 to 18 and can be implemented in a systemic, sustainable approach.

Over 3 years, HillRAP will expand from the current 7 school districts to 9 additional school districts, through training and certification of an additional 636 teachers, who will serve approximately 10,000 new students

Hill’s Program Model integrates three components to help schools better serve struggling readers:

  1. Teacher Training/Certification
  2. Follow-up Support and Mentoring for Teachers
  3. A Universal Database for Progress Monitoring and Data-driven Instructional Decisions

Scaling Strategy: 

  • Build New School District Partnerships to significantly increase the number of teachers trained in HillRAP
  • Leverage Existing Relationships with funders who have supported Hill’s growth to date
  • Seek New Relationships and Funding Partners to become champions of Hill’s efforts, including utilization of national foundation registries and virtual contribution centers
  • Utilize Advances in Technology and Expand Distance Learning Offerings to maximize labor resources and minimize cost to school districts

Capital Needed:  Hill’s scale up initiative will require $11 million over three years, with $3.7 million already secured or identified and $7.3 million left to raise.

Capacity:  To support scale up, from 2006-2011, Hill raised $12 million to build its teacher training center with state-of-the-art distance learning technology, further develop innovative curriculum, and prepare to deliver high-quality teacher training and strong outcomes at even greater scale. Hill’s management team is highly-experienced, with significant education leadership and fundraising experience. The 24-member Hill Board of Directors provides significant national and international expertise in education scale-up, business, and marketing.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
3200 Pickett Road
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-489-7464
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$95,000
Foundation Grants: 
$753,586
Government Funding: 
$15,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$135,000
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$3,489,046
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$721,000
Other Revenue (Description): 
Investments and other, building rental.
Total Revenue: 
$5,208,632

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,778,528
Occupancy: 
$551,100
Travel & Entertainment: 
$111,692
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$117,438
Telephone & Communications: 
$23,900
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$625,350
Other Expenses (Description): 

Professional services (legal, consulting, accounting, etc.), computer hardware, software, maintenance, miscellaneous.

Total Expenses: 
$5,208,008

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$624

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$83,535
Foundation Grants: 
$965,593
Government Funding: 
$134,752
Contributions from Individuals: 
$170,470
Program Services Fees: 
$3,088,429
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$673,653
Other Revenue (Description): 
Investments and other income, building rental.
Special Events: 
$26,945
Total Revenue: 
$5,143,377

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,708,492
Occupancy: 
$706,392
Travel & Entertainment: 
$82,983
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$192,401
Telephone & Communication: 
$32,218
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$428,773
Other Expenses (Description): 

Professional fees (legal, accounting, consulting), computer hardware, software, and maintenance, advertising, miscellaneous.

Total Expenses: 
$5,151,259

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-7,882

Major Funders

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

The Oak Foundation

The Robertson Foundation

The F.M. Kirby Foundation

The Mebane Charitable Foundation

Front Street Village, Inc.

Bank of America Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

Duke Energy Foundation

BB&T Charitable Foundation

Morgan Creek Foundation

Carolina Hurricanes Kids 'N Community Foundation

Fox Family Foundation

Mary Duke Biddle Foundation

Coca-Cola Foundation