In Q1 2024, our foundation awarded 53 grants totaling over $14 million.

Our first quarter grantmaking focuses on identifying and fueling the scale of cost-effective programs and solutions that accelerate improvement in key academic and socioemotional outcomes for all children. As always, we place an emphasis on grantmaking and strategic support that unlock innovation, evidence, and growth for our grantees.

Below, we highlight just some of the direct impact and ecosystem organizations we’re proud to support this quarter as we kick off our 2024 grantmaking.

From top left to right: Helen Westmoreland, Michael J. Oister, Sandra Sheppard, Charlotte Min-Harris, Nick Monzi, Jill Bramble, Lance Bush, Amy Shelton, Marty Martinez, Mindy Sjoblom, Michelle Brown, Gina Martinez-Keddy, Peter Gault, Jeanne McCarty, Heejae Lim, Kirk Walters, Susanna Loeb, Robin Lake, Tim Daly, Adam Cassano

Unlocking Innovation and Growth (Direct Impact Grantees)


New to the Inspired Minds portfolio is Out Teach, which received a $300,000 one-year pilot grant to improve the science instructional practices of over 900 educators. Out Teach transforms outdoor spaces into active learning labs that unlock the wonder of science for students, and supports educators in using that space for cross-curricular experiences that make science real, relevant, and relatable. Internal data show that 91 percent of teachers were more prepared to teach science and 96 percent saw increased student engagement after participating in Out Teach. The organization will use our funding to pilot a digital version of its professional development model, testing impact and scalability.

Also new to Inspired Minds is National 4-H Council, the leadership organization for America’s largest youth development organization, which received a $300,000 one-year pilot grant to increase student access to STEM learning. Our funding will help 4-H increase the quantity and quality of STEM activities across its ecosystem and launch new professional development sessions to support out-of-school time facilitation.


$4,500,000 over three years to TalkingPoints, an AI-powered two-way communication platform that helps educators communicate with families in more than 150 languages, to support the organization in deepening its impact as it scales to reach over 16 million students. Over the past three years, the organization has reached over 10 million students and conducted several studies suggesting that use of TalkingPoints is associated with improved attendance and academic outcomes. Over the next three years, our funding will support TalkingPoints in continuing to innovate on its product, increase family and educator engagement, and build stronger research and data capacity.

$3,000,000 over three years to the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), which offers high-quality STEM learning designed to inspire young people to increase their interest in STEM and innovation. Our funding will subsidize participation in NIHF programming, including Invention Project, Camp Invention, and Club Invention, for 33,000 under-resourced students—providing access to high-quality, hands-on STEM experiences for students who may otherwise be unable to attend.

$2,000,000 (year two of a three-year grant) to CommonLit, a free online reading program that supports students in developing advanced reading and writing skills through a cohesive curriculum, professional learning, and assessment platform. The planned disbursement includes a supplemental increase of $500,000 to support CommonLit in increasing its capacity to incorporate additional machine learning and generative AI technology into its platform, including hiring technical staff and making improvements to its technical infrastructure. Over the next two years, we expect CommonLit to reach a total 10 million students and over 6,000 schools.

A three-year grant of $1.5 million to the National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First, two home visiting models with evidence of impact on healthy birth outcomes, child mental health, and language development. The National Service Office will use this funding to continue to build its infrastructure and capacity to deepen impact on the target population of mothers who are experiencing the most intensive adversities. Over the next three years, we expect the two organizations to reach nearly 55,000 families per year, increasing the likelihood of a child’s school readiness and future success.

$1,400,000 over two years to Challenger Center to promote hands-on STEM experiences and inspire STEM interest for over 210,000 students through in-person space education centers. During its pilot grant year, Challenger reached over 150,000 students and strengthened its data and measurement capacity to better understand the impact of its programs. The organization will use the multi-year funding to support the growth of its in-person programs while developing and implementing a go-to-market strategy for its two new digital products.

$1,200,000 (year two of a two-year grant) to OnYourMark Education, an early literacy virtual tutoring provider with early evidence of impact on improving children’s knowledge of letter sounds and decoding skills. OnYourMark will use this funding to increase the reach and effectiveness of its program, resulting in gains in early literacy for kindergartners through second graders.

$1,200,000 (year two of a two-year grant) to, an AI-powered tool that helps students develop critical thinking and reading comprehension through writing. Our funding will support Quill to increase its reach to five million students, resulting in expected gains in writing scores. Quill will also use the funding to continue to add product functionality and additional subjects and curriculum partnerships.

$1,000,000 (year two of a three-year grant) to Learn Fresh, which develops games and learning tools that use students’ passion for sports and entertainment to promote STEM engagement and achievement. Learn Fresh will use the funding to pilot new programs (including EcoTour and MLS STEM Goals), evaluate the impact of NBA Math Hoops, and continue to scale its core programming, promoting math achievement and social-emotional outcomes for 400,000 third through eighth grade students in 2024.

After a successful pilot grant year, a two-year grant of $800,000 to EdNavigator, a nonprofit that partners with healthcare providers to help families navigate early intervention services, school enrollment, academic support, and special education referrals. EdNavigator will use this funding to better understand the impact, scalability, and cost of its program, specifically whether supporting families through pediatrician-driven referrals improves their ability to access services in a timely manner, ultimately improving children’s academic outcomes and achievement. Over the next two years, EdNavigator expects to reach 2,250 families, resulting in over 90 percent of referral needs met.

A one-year grant of $430,000 to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth to support scholarships for students to attend on-campus programs designed to provide transformational experiences to advanced learners in second through 12th grade. This grant will support over 70 students and will prioritize financial aid for students from New Jersey.

$350,000 (year two of a two-year grant) to support the launch and distribution of Season 15 of “Cyberchase,” an Emmy Award-winning public media series produced by WNET that engages children ages five to eight in math and environmental science. “Cyberchase” aims to reach 27 million children across platforms during this grant year and will use the funding to support the creation of supplemental digital games and community- and family-based environmental activities.

$300,000 over two years to Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV), a family engagement model designed to build trusting home-school partnerships through teacher home visits. Prior descriptive evidence links PTHV home visits with decreased absenteeism and increased ELA proficiency. During its pilot grant year, PTHV reached an estimated 35,000 families and made progress in strengthening its data systems. Over the next two years, the organization plans to reach 39,000 families annually, increase its measurement capacity, and refine its growth strategy.

A project grant of $252,000 to enable Reach Out and Read to test how the Kibeam Wand™, a small handheld device that guides children through book reading, could impact caregiver-child interactions and engagement rates, as well as function as an ongoing data collection tool. Reach Out and Read will pilot the wand with 1,000 California families, using interactive content for two bilingual books. Findings from the pilot will be shared in a report, which can be used to inform future data collection efforts, research, and technology practices of book distribution nonprofits.

$205,000 over one year to support The Governor’s School of New Jersey Program in the Sciences at Drew University. This program will offer 60 students a three-week summer enrichment opportunity aimed at broadening appreciation and knowledge of the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the sciences, as well as inspiring future career paths in STEM.

After a successful pilot grant, $200,000 over one year to National PTA to support the migration of the newly developed Family Engagement Solutions hub to, and to build district demand for evidence-based family engagement programs.

Unlocking Evidence: RESEARCH and FIELD BUILDING

Ecosystem grants are designed to clear the path to scale for our direct impact grantees and strategies.

A validation grant of $500,000 over two years to WestEd to support a randomized controlled trial of Learn Fresh’s NBA Math Hoops program. This funding will support the research team in producing rigorous, causal evidence on the program’s short- and longer-term effects, including its impact on students’ math learning and social-emotional skills.

$500,000 (year two of a two-year grant) to Stanford University in support of the National Student Support Accelerator (NSSA), a program devoted to translating research about how tutoring can benefit students into action on the ground. Our funding will support NSSA to host a convening and disseminate research, best practices, and tools to policymakers, district and state decision-makers, and program providers to improve the practice and impact of high-dosage tutoring.

$200,000 to the Center on Reinventing Public Education to conduct a landscape study on AI bright spots in education; convene key stakeholders in discussion on the challenges and opportunities for AI; and disseminate findings to support education field leaders in effectively using AI to address persistent challenges (e.g. student engagement, assessments, etc.) going forward.