Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. 

It's been that way since I was pretty young. I like the idea of spending time with friends and family and reflecting on what we all have to be grateful for. No matter how difficult a year it may have been, there's always a reason to give thanks.

At Signet, we have a lot to be thankful for. 

Every day we're grateful to our clients for giving us the opportunity to work with them, to our tutors for their great work, to each other for the fantastic working environment that we have been able to create here.

As part of our gratitude, we always try to pass along the good fortune we've had in the form of working pro-bono with people and organizations in our community. One such project that we've done recently is our SAT program with the MATCH Charter School in Boston. 

MATCH is an incredible school with an inspiring group of educators and students. 

You can read more about them here.

Last year, I got together with administrators at MATCH to find out how we might be able to support their efforts to help improve their students' SAT scores. In the past, MATCH has worked with third-party test prep companies to provide students with SAT courses right before they take the SAT. However, that model was not working to get them the SAT scores that their students needed.

After auditing their approach to the SAT, we decided together that building a long-term, in-house SAT program, taught by their instructors, would likely yield better results for their students than they were able to achieve by working with a third party. Outside companies typically use a one-size-fits-all approach condensed to 8–12 weeks, not tailored to the MATCH student community. However, MATCH teachers know their students best, and an in-house program could focus on long-term skill development instead of short-term "fixes."

Last spring, we began developing a program that begins for students in 9th grade and prepares them systematically for success on the SAT by focusing on the fundamental skills required by the test, like vocabulary, critical reading ability, problem solving, and more. This long-term program will manifest through MATCH's excellent tutorial program and in supplemental classes that will be designed in partnership by Signet and MATCH instructors. 

We're just starting to implement our pilot classes, and we’ll let you know how things go. Our eventual goal is to create a self-sustaining, in-house program that is perfectly tailored to MATCH's students and goals. Ideally, in the process we can also create a model that other schools will then be able to adapt and implement for their own students.

As we approach Thanksgiving this year, we will give thanks for our ability to work with and learn from institutions like MATCH, and for all of the educators like those from MATCH who are dedicating their lives to making sure students have equal access to high-quality education.