Below are stories of how Overdeck Family Foundation funding has helped three grantees unlock innovation—developing and launching new approaches, interventions, or models that address unmet needs or problems in their respective fields. To learn more about our funding efforts and discover additional grantee stories, read the full 2021 Grantmaking & Impact Report.
New Jersey Tutoring Corps
Due to Covid-related shutdowns, New Jersey students lost ~30 percent of expected learning in ELA and ~36 percent in math in SY 2020-21.
The New Jersey Tutoring Corps is a high-dosage, small-group, tutoring program launched by Overdeck Family Foundation in partnership with the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, The College of New Jersey, the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey, and the Y Alliance of New Jersey.
The Corps, which incorporated best practices from research and other statewide tutoring initiatives, was designed to accelerate learning recovery for students impacted by pandemic-related learning losses.
The program effectively increased math proficiency and excitement for math among participants, as well as grew knowledge and understanding of math instruction and teaching practice amongst tutors. It also provided leadership opportunities for practicing teachers as Site Coordinators.
Originally piloted during the summer of 2021 with math tutoring at 23 sites, the program plans to scale in SY 2021-22, serving 42 sites with math and literacy tutoring.
Overdeck Family Foundation worked closely with the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund to launch the Tutoring Corps, providing additional funding to ensure that all interested students could be served. Additionally, we played a critical role in bringing all the partners to the table to design and implement the statewide program in just four short weeks.
Only 35 percent of fourth-grade students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level on the reading assessment in 2019. Despite billions invested in classroom intervention, fourth-grade literacy rates in America have hardly budged in 25 years.
Springboard Collaborative helps teachers and family members become reading coaches to support students to reach their reading goals. Springboard’s methodology, called Family-Educator Learning Accelerators (FELAs), is a five to 10 week cycle during which families and educators team up to help students make up to a four-month reading gain. In 2021, Springboard reached 16,000 students nationwide.
With in-person programming paused during Covid, Springboard created a train-the-trainer solution, called Springboard Learning Accelerator (SLA), which they implemented virtually as a way to give schools a more flexible, lower-cost solution to effective family engagement.
To ensure SLA still led to impact, Springboard commissioned an external study. The study, which was national in scope, showed statistically significant reading growth across both program types. Participants in the traditional program averaged 3.1 months of reading growth in summer 2021, while participants in the SLA program achieved a comparably impressive 2.3-month reading gain during the same five-week period, essentially achieving 74 percent of the impact at 30 percent of the cost.
When the pandemic first closed schools, Overdeck Family Foundation provided Springboard flexible and fast capital that allowed them to create the SLA model and add virtual offerings to their flagship model. Our funding also supported Springboard in building internal data and research capacity, enabling them to better understand and communicate the impact of both in-person and virtual models and attract more funding to scale.
Despite new standards and programs, overall student STEM interest has not meaningfully increased in the past 20 years.
EiE®, the curricula division of the Museum of Science, develops evidence-based, classroom-tested programs that empower children to become lifelong STEM learners and passionate problem solvers.
Their Pre-K–8 curriculum encourages all children to see themselves as engineers and aims to grow children’s engineering practices and mindsets through flexible print, online, and blended hands-on programs.
From 2019–21, EiE added onto their classroom and afterschool curricula by creating family STEM engagement resources that encouraged STEM learning to occur at home. The team created five at-home engineering activities, nine “on-the-go” engineering games, an engineering-focused family STEM event, and three videos to support learning, allowing resources to be accessed both online and off.
Eighty-eight percent of families that used the resources agreed that the STEM activities made them feel like they were engineering together as a family. Eighty-four percent were inspired to look for more engineering activities to do at home, and 83 percent were inspired to find more community/school sponsored STEM opportunities for the future.
Overdeck Family Foundation funding supported the prototyping and testing of EiE’s family STEM resources and the scaling of the product to 106,335 children ages four to 11. The funding also supported a Harvard Strategic Data Project fellow, increasing EiE’s ability to conduct in-house formative and summative assessments and to publish results of their research, making learning more actionable for both the internal curricula and professional development teams and external collaborators.
Header image courtesy of EiE