Focus on Education
Blue Meridian’s Education Recovery investments will bring urgently needed capital and technical assistance to education innovators, supporting children and families disproportionately affected by the pandemic as they prepare for and successfully re-engage with school.
The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly disrupted the education system, disconnecting millions of students from school with months of learning left unfinished. Against this backdrop, the federal government is deploying unprecedented resources into school districts nationwide. As part of our COVID-19 Response portfolio, our education recovery investments implement a two-pronged strategy – scaling high-quality interventions to immediately accelerate reach and impact, and helping districts and states plan and execute initiatives that advance student outcomes.
To date, we have invested over $80 million in order to maximize federal resources that support immediate student engagement and success, as well as lay the groundwork for future systemic improvement and innovation.
Funding for Blue Meridian’s COVID-19 education recovery investments was contributed by all our General Partners and Impact Partners.
Education Recovery Investments
We are currently investing in organizations in two ways: scaling high-quality interventions to accelerate reach and impact, and supporting states and districts in implementing initiatives that advance student outcomes.
To date, we have made initial investments in the following set of organizations:
Saga Education partners with public school districts to supplement teacher instruction by offering trained tutors for students who are falling behind—especially low-income and historically underserved students. Daily tutoring sessions during school hours are tailored to student needs to build academic skills while fostering supportive, near-peer relationships between students and tutors. Saga also offers both a suite of information and tools that any school or educator can access for free, and hands-on technical support with program design and implementation.Visit Website
Springboard Collaborative works to close the literacy gap by closing the gap between home and school. It does so by coaching educators and family members to work together to help students reach reading goals. Springboard’s approach combines workshops training families to teach reading at home, professional development for educators, and personalized instruction for pre-K through third-graders so that they have the requisite skills to access life opportunities.Visit Website
TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) works to make effective mental health services accessible to all students with school-based solutions that are cost-effective and sustainable. Through training and ongoing support, TRAILS works with partner schools to implement school-appropriate mental health programs grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness — techniques proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.Visit Website
BellXcel is a national nonprofit that works to transform the academic achievements, self confidence, and life trajectories of children in under-resourced communities. Leveraging three decades of field experience, BellXcel builds the capacity of schools and youth-serving organizations to run quality programs through a platform that centralizes program management, curriculum and resources, teacher professional development, and family engagement tools. BellXcel also equips its partners with a comprehensive solution that drives dynamic, evidence-based programming, implementation, and impact.Visit Website
MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that brings together public and private funders to test new policy-relevant ideas and communicate learnings to policymakers and practitioners—all with the goal of improving the lives of low-income individuals, families, and children. As part of its mission to improve graduation rates for traditionally underserved students, initiatives like MDRC’s SUCCESS (Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success) evaluate promising programs and help states and institutions align their resources with the strongest evidence-driven practices.Visit Website
New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. It provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. Through the Equitable Education Recovery Initiative, New Profit will fund and build the capacity of 24 entrepreneur-led organizations providing tutoring, whole child supports, and postsecondary advising. Since 1998, New Profit has invested $350M+ in over 130 organizations.Visit Website
NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) is a nonprofit venture philanthropy focused on impact, equity, and innovation in education. NSVF finds, funds, and supports early-stage innovators who seek to build strong schools and organizations to ensure all children have access to the learning opportunities they need.Visit Website
Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength is committed to ending hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad. It does this through two campaigns: No Kid Hungry – which is ending childhood hunger in the US through grants to schools and community organizations, expert guidance and advocacy – and Cooking Matters, which helps families on limited food budgets learn how to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals.Visit Website
Zearn is the nonprofit educational organization behind Zearn Math, the top-rated math learning platform used by 1 in 4 elementary students nationwide. Zearn Math supports teachers with research-backed curriculum and digital lessons proven to double the learning gains of a typical year of instruction. Zearn Math instructional materials – including 400+ hours of digital math learning – are free for teachers and families. Zearn also offers school- and district-wide licenses and professional development to support implementation.Visit Website
OneGoal is a national postsecondary success organization that works to close the college degree divide and create a more equitable future. They partner with public schools in low-income communities across the country to ensure postsecondary planning, preparation, and support are integral components of the high school experience. Their three-year program starts as a daily class in students’ junior and senior years of high school and continues with remote support through students’ first year of college or other postsecondary path.Visit Website
Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change is a national, bipartisan network of state and district education system leaders which advocates for policies and practices that make a positive difference in the lives of students. In addition to advocacy, Chiefs for Change’s Future Chiefs program prepares talented, diverse educators to lead state and district education systems.Visit Website
Communities in Schools
Communities in Schools (CIS) works with schools across the country to help students stay in school and succeed. CIS connects students to caring adults and community resources —creating access to critical resources like food, housing, healthcare, counseling, and remote technologies — and empowering students to take charge of the future they want for themselves, their communities, and each other.Visit Website
EducationSuperHighway Working alongside state leaders, partners, providers, and school districts, EducationSuperHighway helped over 40 million students in public school classrooms across the country access high-speed Internet. Having completed its mission to upgrade schools, EducationSuperHighway is now focused on providing states and school districts with the tools they need to connect the estimated 10-15 million students who lack home broadband because of the affordability gap.Visit Website
Common App is a nonprofit undergraduate college admission organization that helps students navigate the college application process. Through Common App’s online platform, aspiring first-time and transfer undergraduate students can apply to any of the more than 900 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad that accept applications via Common App. Common App is deploying a texting intervention that seeks to improve outcomes on timing of applications, application submission rates, enrollment rates, and college persistence.Visit Website
First Nations Development Institute
First Nations Development Institute has served Native American communities throughout the United States for more than 40 years by working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.Visit Website
Council of Chief State School Officers
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the five US extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO’s work is anchored in its commitment to ensuring that all students participating in the nation’s public education system – regardless of background – graduate prepared for college, careers, and life.Visit Website