In Q3 2021, our foundation awarded 33 grants totaling over $13.5 million dollars. Of these, six grants were new, while 27 were renewals.
Our Q3 grantmaking aligns with our updated funding model, which focuses our work on identifying and fueling the scale of cost-effective programs and solutions that accelerate improvement in key academic and socioemotional outcomes for all children. Inspired by venture philanthropy, the model puts an emphasis on grantmaking and strategic support that unlock innovation, evidence, and growth.
Below we highlight just some of the many direct impact and ecosystem organizations we’re proud to support.
Unlocking Innovation and Growth: New Grants
We welcomed Future City with a $200,000 one-year pilot grant to increase under-resourced students served, diversify revenue streams, and refine data tracking and reporting practices while reaching 40,000 students during the 2021-2022 school year. Future City is a four-month long STEM afterschool program for grades six through eight in which students develop a model of a city addressing global challenges like access to drinking water, clean energy, and food scarcity in innovative ways. The curriculum is centered around engineering practices, mentorship, and STEM skills, culminating in a regional and national competition where students present their city models to an array of judges.
Additionally, we provided Teaching Lab a project grant of $200,000 to pilot a new virtual, adaptive, and competency-based delivery model reaching 40-90 teacher trainers and at least 25,000 educators. We expect this funding to help us and Teaching Lab learn whether more adaptive and personalized, tech-based delivery is less costly and at least as effective as an existing virtual delivery model.
Unlocking Innovation and Growth: Renewals
We have been funding Saga Education since 2017, and are excited to expand our support with a $6 million grant over three years to continue their blended-learning validation study, optimize their low-cost, tutoring model, and share best practices to rapidly scale tutoring nationwide. Saga Education is an evidence-based, personalized tutoring model that embeds tutors within the school day to support students struggling with math, leading to up to a 2.5x growth in math skills in one academic year. By 2024, we expect our grant to help Saga directly serve 40,000 middle school and high school students with high-dosage math tutoring (and ~one million students indirectly through their field building work), leading to at least a 2x growth in math skills.
We awarded a grant of $1,500,000 in general operating support to fulfill the second year of a two-year pledge to ParentCorps, an enhancement to traditional Pre-K that supports social-emotional learning by strengthening educators’ capacity to engage with families in historically disinvested neighborhoods. We expect this funding to help ParentCorps continue expanding its reach, growing to 35,000 Pre-K students in both NYC and Detroit, testing unbundled components of its core model, and reaching an additional 120,000 families nationwide with low-cost SEL materials.
We provided LENA, an organization that aims to improve early language development through parent and provider coaching programs powered by “talk pedometer” technology, a grant of $1,074,500 in general operating support to fulfill the second year of a two-year pledge. Our funding will support LENA to continue expanding program reach, reduce costs, and generate evidence of effectiveness that will enable greater public and private investment. We expect LENA programs for parents, caregivers, and early educators to reach 29,000 children in 2022 and accelerate child language development by 20 percentile points on average.
We awarded a one-year grant of $1,000,000 in general operating support to Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI), an organization that trains, accredits, and supports medical practices in using patented group-based prenatal and pediatric care practices. We expect our funding to help CHI build critical data and policy capacities while sustaining their reach of ~60,000 families and positively impacting outcomes directly linked to school readiness including healthier birth outcomes. Our support will position the organization for catalytic growth post-COVID.
Given our commitment to rapidly scaling the number of teachers experiencing high-quality professional learning aligned to high-quality instructional materials, we’re excited to deepen our support for Teaching Lab with a $3 million grant over three years. Teaching Lab is one of only a few professional development (PD) providers that not only aligns PD to specific high-quality curricula, but also leverages technology and personalized learning to enhance the learning experience of students. In school year 2020-21, classrooms run by Teaching Lab-educated teachers saw 48 percent of ELA students and 62 percent of math students demonstrate mastery on grade-level assignments, versus the national benchmark of 17 percent. We believe our grant will allow Teaching Lab to scale their research-based, low-cost teacher professional learning model to 15,000 teachers and over one million students by 2023-24, with measurable impact in both student learning and teacher practice.
We expanded our partnership with Leading Educators with a $2.1 million grant over three years. We expect this extended funding to help scale their professional learning model and increase their reach and impact to more systems, teachers, and students by 2023-2024. Leading Educators supports leaders in delivering content-specific learning in math and ELA that weaves equitable teaching practices and social-emotional learning into professional learning. Leading Educators has positively impacted both teacher practice and student learning, as evidenced by the student outcomes in its partnership with DC Public Schools. We expect our grant to lead to significant improvements in student learning and teacher practice going forward.
As the second installment of our two-year investment, we provided $700,000 to Public Impact, which restructures Pre-K–12 schools to extend the reach of excellent teachers, principals, and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring school budgets. The funding will accelerate the growth of the Opportunity Culture model to reach 75 percent of U.S. schools (>78,000) by 2034 and will help Public Impact refine the delivery mechanisms and organizational processes necessary to accelerate growth while maintaining impact. We expect that Opportunity Culture schools will be at least 50 percent more likely to achieve high growth compared to other schools in the same state.
We provided Instruction Partners a one-year, $300,000 grant to support 600 school leaders across seven states in building capacity to internalize the importance of high-quality content and scale it within a school system. Past impact data show that educators working with Instruction Partners helped students improve both math and ELA performance by 13 percent, and increased the number of students above the bottom quartile in early literacy by 15 percent. We expect our grant to reach more than 1,400 teachers and 130,000 students, and to improve leader and teacher practice as well as student achievement.
We awarded a grant of $300,000 in general operating support to fulfill the second year of a two-year pledge to New Leaders, which uses best-in-class leadership training to train school leaders. Our support will help the organization build data capacity and extend their reach to 1,800 leaders (and over 500,000 students) across the country in SY22-23. The grant will also help New Leaders better understand how to most effectively train leaders in a virtual and hybrid environment.
We extended our support of BEAM, which helps underserved students enter advanced study in math, with a $300,000 one-year grant that will reach 420 middle school students in summer 2022 and support the second year of BEAM’s National Entry Points pilot program, reaching 150-200 elementary school students in grades two through five. BEAM aims to develop students’ math skills, STEM mindsets, and persistence; BEAM graduates attend competitive high schools and colleges more frequently than their peers.
Unlocking Evidence: Research and Field Building
We strengthened our partnership with Afterschool Alliance, which uses communications and advocacy strategies to increase public and private investment in afterschool programs, with a $1,000,000 grant over two years. By late 2023, we expect our investment to help afterschool advocates secure additional support toward STEM learning outside of the school day, creating program access for thousands of additional students.
To better understand how high-quality math programs deepen the engagement of students and educators, and what key design features build curiosity, engagement, and self-efficacy, we awarded WestEd a $322,000 18-month grant to research program models. We expect the resulting analysis to expand policymakers’ understanding of the importance and features of high-quality math curriculum materials used in out-of-school and in-school contexts during and after pandemic-era implementation.
We provided a $300,000 one-year grant to the National Association for Family, School, Community Engagement (NAFSCE), a membership organization advancing policies and practices for family, school, and community engagement to promote child development and improve student achievement. We expect our support to help NAFSCE fundraise for a national center on family math, helping improve the way that math is integrated into early childhood education and everyday life.
We provided a $250,000 one-year grant to Pediatrics Supporting Parents to spread and enable practices that improve children’s social and emotional development through pediatric well-child visits. This joint initiative is funded by Einhorn Collaborative, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Overdeck Family Foundation.
We awarded a $150,000 pilot grant to Cambiar Catalyst, a leadership development program that trains a cohort of school system leaders (and school leaders) in innovation, equity, and instruction. This grant will support Cambiar in training up to 50 Catalyst Fellows, which would include at least 50 percent people of color and 50 percent women. These leaders are expected to reach ~350,000 students (73 percent economically disadvantaged, 74 percent Black and Latinx) across ~20 district and charter systems, fostering leader retention and leading to higher educator and student performance.
We awarded a one-year pilot grant in the amount of $100,000 to 2 Revolutions’ edsUP project, which will generate publicly available knowledge on the success of professional learning done on an adaptive, tech-based learning platform. Our support will enable edsUP to analyze data from the pilot and share findings through an external report and a convening with the field, helping professional learning providers understand the potential benefits of a competency-based adaptive learning model for adults.