Responsive Classroom presents Jennifer Buffett with Innovative Leadership in Education Award

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, September 20, 2013

At this year’s Bammy Awards, a gala event celebrating what’s right in public education, Jennifer Buffett, president of the NoVo Foundation, will be presented with the Responsive Classroom Award for Innovative Leadership in Education.

The award will be presented by Dr. Lora Hodges, executive director of Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC), at the red carpet event in Washington, DC, on September 21st at the Arena Stage Theater.

Northeast Foundation for Children, developer of the research-based Responsive Classroom approach to elementary education, is an official sponsor of the 2013 Bammy Awards. The annual event is hosted by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International for the purpose of recognizing the contributions of educators-- from teachers, principals, and superintendents to school nurses, support staff, advocates, and researchers--who are working to improve the quality of education for all children.

The Responsive Classroom Award for Innovative Leadership in Education is given to a person who significantly improves the lives of children by increasing the quality of education for all children, every day. Jennifer Buffett will be honored because of her strong leadership in bringing evidence-based social-and-emotional learning (SEL) on a large scale to eight urban districts through her leadership at the NoVo Foundation and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), which is spearheading the Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI), launched in 2011.

“Jennifer’s vision is to help all children reach their full potential by fully integrating SEL practices into our educational systems. These eight districts are just the beginning; they’ll serve as a model for the rest of the country, a shining example of what’s possible,” notes Dr. Hodges.

The ultimate goal, states the NoVo website, is to “unlock and emphasize a broad range of human capacities—building intellectual, social and emotional skill, preparing children to be able to co-create and work together towards a kinder, more equitable and sustainable future.” “SEL is an important foundation for learning and the invaluable skills SEL fosters are essential in today’s world,” says Jennifer who sees SEL as "the process of developing fundamental skills for life success within supportive, participatory learning environments."

She believes strongly that classroom teachers model behavior and can help all students learn to recognize and manage their emotions, develop care and concern for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Ms. Buffett began her philanthropic work in 1997, primarily funding social service organizations, and founded NoVo in 2006 with her husband, Peter Buffett. In 2008, Jennifer and Peter Buffett received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for their "visionary leadership and sustainable, scalable work in solving pressing global challenges." President Clinton noted that "their innovative approach to philanthropy has leveraged the capacity of existing organizations to effect real, positive change."

About Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International

The Academy, sponsor of the Bammy Awards, exists solely to recognize what is right in education by identifying, honoring, and celebrating the collective contributions of individuals. The Academy is comprised of a diverse group of leaders, including some of the nation’s most prominent educators, education leaders, professors, journalists, activists, visionaries, and pioneers. The Academy also includes the executive directors from the leading national education associations. To learn more about the Academy’s sponsorship of the Bammy Awards, visit

About the NoVo Foundation

The NoVo Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to transforming global society by moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. NoVo supports the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to create a caring and balanced world and envisions a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation. To learn more about NoVo, visit

About the Northeast Foundation for Children

Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, is the developer of Responsive Classroom®, a research- and evidence-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. Responsive Classroom practices help educators develop competencies in three interrelated domains: engaging academics, positive community, and effective management. To learn more, visit