Awarded Grants

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Initiative Grantee Date Amount City State
Build Public Understanding & Demand Institute for Educational Leadership

Institute for Educational Leadership 

Since 1964, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has prepared and supported champions for equity in education and workforce development. IEL works at the local, state, and national levels, and increasingly within communities, to bridge longstanding political, racial, and systemic divides. IEL's mission is to equip leaders to better prepare children and youth for college, careers, & citizenship. 

Grant Description 

As part of their strategy to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and youth, the Institute for Educational Leadership (home of the Coalition for Community Schools and the National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth) has employed a range of strategies designed to improve engagement practice while building systemic family and community engagement (FCE) capacity, including sponsoring an annual national FCE conference. Under this year’s theme, Engaging Families: A Sure Bet! the conference will highlight leadership at all levels and exciting local work in the Reno area and will be held July 10-12, 2019 at the Peppermill in Reno, NV. The 2019 National Family and Community Engagement conference will offer multiple opportunities for participants to learn about the latest research and examine how schools and communities around the country are realizing mutual goals and maximizing impact through productive family-school-community partnerships. NMEF funds will be used to support the participation of parent leaders, teacher leaders and a portion of the costs associated with the Family Engagement and Equity Plenary. 


5/21/2019 $5,000 Washington DC
Build Public Understanding & Demand United We Dream

United We Dream 

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. They create welcoming spaces for young people – regardless of immigration status – to support, engage, and empower them to make their voice heard and win! Whether they’re organizing in the streets, building cutting edge technology systems, opening doors for LGBTQ immigrant youth, clearing pathways to education, stopping deportations or creating alliances across social movements, United We Dream puts undocumented immigrant youth in the driver’s seat to strategize, innovate and win. 

Grant Description  

Sponsorship from Nellie Mae will support the 2019 Educators Conference taking place at Southern Connecticut State University on May 20th. The theme this year, Building Unafraid Schools and Communities,recognizes that schools and universities play a key role in the holistic support of our students. Schools and universities are places where students not only learn but also get access to healthcare, social workers, and extracurricular activities; things that undocumented students many times cannot access beyond a school’s walls. This means that all staff play a key role in creating an environment where undocumented students and families feel welcomed and supported, and that youth have the ability to lead efforts to make positive changes in their schools and communities. The Educators Conference brings together high school and college educators, administrators, community organization staff, and many others from across the state to learn how best to support and advocate with undocumented young people. Educators hear directly from undocumented youth and allies on ways that they can work together to challenge our current education system that many times marginalizes undocumented youth instead of supporting them. 

5/1/2019 $5,000 Washington DC
Build Public Understanding & Demand Teachers College Columbia University

Teachers College Columbia University  

Teachers College sees its leadership role in two complementary arenas. One is as a major player in policy-making to ensure that schools are reformed and restructured to welcome all students regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. The other is in preparing educators who not only serve students directly but also coordinate the educational, psychological, behavioral, technological, and health initiatives to remove barriers to learning at all ages.

Grant Description  

Designed for educators, policy makers, parents, and all stakeholders in K-12 schools, the Reimagining Education Summer Institute will explore the opportunities and challenges of creating and sustaining racially, ethnically and socio-economically integrated schools. The institute will feature presentations and panels, interactive workshops, and deep dialogue sessions led by curriculum and pedagogy experts from Teachers College and around the nation. 

4/22/2019 $10,000 New York NY
Build Public Understanding & Demand Grantmakers for Education

Grantmakers for Education 

Over the past 20 years, Grantmakers for Education (GFE) has grown into the largest and most diverse consortium of education philanthropists in the nation. Founded in 1995 on the premise that collective insights, shared resources and constructive collaboration enable grantmakers to make more intentional and impactful investments, Grantmakers for Education set out to demonstrate the power of networks in affecting greater change. 

Grant Description 

This sponsorship supports GFE's annual conference. This year, they are taking inspiration from the students who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent overhaul of the education system. Local successes and challenges will stimulate national conversations about transforming education, from birth through postsecondary success. Drawing on brain science and the latest evidence, the conference will explore the social, emotional and academic dimensions of learning. This year's theme affirms the commitment in the community to equity of opportunity and outcomes for students, especially those who have experienced trauma, racial injustice and disability. 

4/18/2019 $10,000 Portland OR
Develop Effective Systems Designs Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University 

Roger Williams University is a leading higher education institution serving over 6,500 students through their Undergraduate, Graduate, Law and Continuing Studies programs on two campuses in Bristol and Providence Rhode Island. The Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE) is a new initiative at RWU, located at the School of Continuing Studies in downtown Providence, RI. 

Grant Description 

CYCLE will continue to play an important technical assistance role in support of the Foundation and the grantees in the Understanding Roots of Inequities grant fund (Cambridge and Waltham, MA; Manchester and Danbury, CT; Manchester, NH; and Central Falls, RI). The proposed work falls into two major areas: designing and facilitating a grantee convening and designing and facilitating a learning community for grantees. 

4/18/2019 $255,000 Bristol RI
Presidents Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

The goal of the Massachusetts public K-12 and adult education system is to prepare all students for success in life. The Department's work includes licensing educators, distributing state and federal education money, helping districts implement learning standards, overseeing statewide standardized tests, monitoring schools and districts, and convening districts and individuals to share best practices. In addition, they collect data to inform state and local decisions. 

Grant Description 

This grant to the Trust Fund that is affiliated with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is to support costs related to the Kairos conference held on March 19, 2019. 

4/11/2019 $50,000 Malden MA
Build Public Understanding & Demand Virtual Learning Academy Charter School

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School 

The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is New Hampshire's first statewide online school that is available, free of charge, to all high school students who live in New Hampshire. The Academy also serves out of state students on a tuition basis. The Academy has been approved as a public school and charter school by the New Hampshire Board of Education and is also a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. An independent Board of Trustees governs the school. 

Grant Description 

On May 7th, at Southern New Hampshire University, VLACS will meet with business leaders to introduce their new career-focused badging program and ask for their commitment to help New Hampshire middle school, high school, and adult learners. Businesses may commit to any or all of the following work-based learning options: live webinars, mentoring, job shadows, on-site projects, internships, apprenticeships, or employment. The second event, on May 29th also at Southern New Hampshire University, will provide educational leaders with a preview of VLACS' new career-based badges and our new business partnerships. Attendees will also have time to meet with VLAC staff to plan for implementation. 

4/11/2019 $8,000 Exeter NH
State-Level Systems Change Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center

Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center 

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces non-partisan policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts. Their work addresses how our Commonwealth can achieve these objectives while also maintaining fiscal stability through an adequate, fair, and efficient tax system. 

Grant Description  

This is an additional grant for March to October 2019 to allow MA Budget and Policy Center to provide additional analysis of competing school funding bills in this legislative session. 

4/5/2019 $50,000 Boston MA
Build Public Understanding & Demand Fenway High School

Fenway High School 

Founded in 1983, Fenway became one of Boston’s six original pilot schools in 1994. Fenway is devoted to providing a high-quality, personalized education to students from all over the city of Boston. They do not have an academic admission requirement. Their proven success is largely due to their established set of teaching practices and school structures based on three core principles: intellectual challenge, personalized relationships, and collaborations with outside organizations. 

Grant Description 

Fenway High School will host their annual "Make A Difference Event" (MADE) on May 8, 2019 at the Harvard Club of Boston. This special event brings together Fenway faculty, students, parents, alumni, board members, and other community leaders to celebrate the innovative and life-changing educational opportunities provided to their 377 students each year, while raising critical funds to support their academic innovation and wraparound services. Funds raised through MADE are critical to their school’s model in supporting students and fund opportunities such as their Fenway After school Mentoring (FAM) program, their award winning librarian and full-time teacher librarian (Fenway is one of only 10 Boston Public high schools currently that has a librarian on staff, and this is only possible through supplemental funding raised through the "Fenway Fund"), Project Week, SAT tutoring, and the opportunity to support students in outside of school special opportunities. This year to date, they were able to send 10 Fenway students to meet author Angie Thomas, who wrote Fenway's all school summer reading book, "The Hate U Give", supplemented the cost to send a 10th grade student who is a slam-poet to a writing conference in Vermont, and will pay to send a Fenway senior who is currently in foster care to Washington, DC to compete in a national mock-trial tournament which she qualified for after winning the state competition, but would otherwise not be able to afford to attend without the Fenway Fund's help. The Nellie Mae Foundation has purchased an ad in their event program book to demonstrate our support as a community partner and champion of education for public school children across New England. 

4/5/2019 $5,000 Boston MA
Build Educator Ownership, Leadership and Capacity Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning

Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning  

The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is reinventing American teacher preparation. Partnered with Massachusetts public schools, the WW Academy offers competency-based master’s degree programs leading to licensure in middle and secondary math and science teacher education, with school leadership and professional development programs to follow. Teacher candidates will progress through the curriculum by mastery of the competencies, graduating when they have mastered all of the competencies. 

Grant Description  

The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning (WW Academy), a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson (WW) National Education Foundation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeks to reinvent teacher education, beginning with the preparation of STEM teachers and then broadening its scope to include the full range of subject areas. The WW Academy is an individualized, competency-based program that focuses on outcomes – the skills and knowledge teachers must have to be effective in the classroom and ensure student achievement. It throws out the clock, focusing on a candidate’s mastery of skills and knowledge rather than their seat time. 

4/5/2019 $200,000 Cambridge MA