Below is a roundup highlighting some of the important work our grantees and Foundation staff accomplished in March 2019.

Early Learning Lab

Early Learning Lab released a retrospective report identifying three drivers of change to help ensure all children are ready for school and for life. The report was compiled based on three years of work with teachers, parents, caregivers, and technology.

The three recommended drivers of change are 1) identifying and spreading skills and practices that can be leveraged across settings and programs, 2) using rapid-cycle learning and co-designing solutions with parents and teachers, and 3) leveraging  technology and data to improve program impact and scale. Read the report in its entirety for more details.

Khan Academy

While the recent college admissions scandal emphasized the high costs of the admissions process, Khan Academy was cited by ABC News as a free and widely available option for SAT prep that helps level the playing field for all students. All of Khan’s resources are free to use and accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection.

Leading Educators

The74 spotlighted Leading Educators’ ability to disrupt traditional teacher professional learning programs (a multibillion dollar industry) by preparing high-performing teachers to support their peers. At roughly $880 per teacher, Leading Educators’ LEAP program costs dramatically less than the $12,598 per teacher that a 2015 TNTP study conservatively estimated large districts spend on traditional professional development.

University of Virginia Nudge4 Solutions Lab

The University of Virginia Nudge4 Solutions Lab launched a partnership with state agencies in Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana to develop scalable mobile strategies that improve educational and economic opportunities for students who have dropped out of postsecondary education. The work was highlighted by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

FIRST Robotics

Overdeck Family Foundation and Panasonic sponsored the March Robotics Madness science fair and competition in Newark. Students from 20 schools demonstrated their inventions in Newark Public Schools’ annual robot competition.

Digital Promise

Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Navigator tool was highlighted by Michael Horn, the founder of Clayton Christensen Institute, as a way to use research to help educators tailor learning for students. Horn’s op-ed, which was published in the74, also advocated for the idea of personalizing learning versus personalized learning, as the former is designed to help students succeed versus just being another goal for the classroom.

Centering Healthcare Institute / Nurse-Family Partnership

New Jersey expanded Medicaid coverage to include group prenatal care services that complied with guidelines set forth by CenteringPregnancy. Studies show the additional support offered by group prenatal care lead to a decline in premature births and low birthweight babies, as well as an increase in breastfeeding rates and better pregnancy spacing

Additionally, New Jersey State Assemblywoman Reynolds Jackson introduced a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to three home visitation services, including Nurse-Family Partnership. The legislation is among over 15 measures sponsored by Assembly Democrats to improve maternal health care for families and reduce maternal deaths in the state.

STEM Learning Ecosystems

New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Laura Overdeck penned an op-ed about the need for increased STEM education both  in- and out-of-school in New Jersey. The op-ed was timed for New Jersey’s STEM Month, which celebrates the state’s historical progress and shines a spotlight on what’s needed for the future.

Vision To Learn / Helen Keller International

On 3/29, Vision To Learn and Helen Keller International presented free glasses to more than 110 K – 8th grade Jersey City students at Frank R. Conwell Middle School. This event celebrates the expansion of their efforts to provide free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to all 31,000 Pre-K to 8th grade students in Jersey City, Orange, and East Orange public schools by January 2020. The event was covered by News 12, NJETV, and FiOS1 NJ. New Jersey Governor Murphy also tweeted his support of the initiative.

Foundation News

Inside Philanthropy interviewed Laura Overdeck for a feature article on Overdeck Family Foundation’s goals and work to-date. The reporter writes, “John and Laura Overdeck come from a world of numbers, so it’s no surprise that the couple has infused their burgeoning education foundation with a deep respect for data.”