COVID-19 Education Recovery

Blue Meridian‘s investments will provide needed capital and technical assistance to education innovators, while also maximizing the impact of increased federal resources on student success and well-being.

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.

Our Partners

Funding for Blue Meridian’s COVID-19 education recovery investments was contributed by all our General Partners and Impact Partners.

Learn More about Our 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

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.

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Springboard Collaborative

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New Profit

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Common App

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.

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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.

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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.

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Start Early

Start Early is a champion for quality early learning and care, focused on closing the opportunity gap and creating more equitable experiences for the youngest learners. Start Early’s vision is that every child has the equitable opportunity to reach their full potential to thrive in school and in life. To that end, Start Early provides doula, home visiting, and Early Head Start and Head Start programs as well as advocacy and technical assistance nationally. As leaders in early learning and care, Start Early scales its deep expertise across program, policy, and research through partnerships across the country.

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TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit with a mission to drive student success by unlocking the potential of families to fuel their children’s learning. With a focus on supporting underserved and/or diverse students and their communities, TalkingPoints’ universal family engagement technology transforms something as simple as a cell phone into a tool that empowers millions of PK-12 families and educators. This enables them to build strong partnerships in support of student success through two-way translated digital conversations, data analytics, and resources in 150+ languages.

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ParentPowered is a public benefit corporation with a mission to create easy-to-use tools for great parenting to improve the lives of all children. Its evidence-based approach crystalizes a family engagement curriculum into bite-sized insights and ideas that give families that "I can do this!" feeling. Each week, parents and caregivers receive text messages with age-differentiated ways to promote their children’s development by building on existing family routines. Its birth through eighth grade curricula are used by hundreds of schools and districts across the country to enhance its family engagement programming.

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The BUILD Initiative

The BUILD Initiative is a national organization that partners with state leaders to promote equitable, comprehensive systems for young children and families, focusing on policy, infrastructure, and cross-sector connections for a whole-child vision. BUILD offers technical assistance, peer matches, and learning opportunities, aiming to overcome early childhood system challenges and improve leadership knowledge for those underrepresented in state policies. BUILD shares insights across states, territories, tribes, and communities, envisioning a time where all children achieve their full potential, regardless of race, location, or income.

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The Hunt Institute

The Hunt Institute is a nonpartisan education policy support to the nation’s senior state elected leaders, founded in 2001 by four-term NC Governor Jim Hunt. The Institute brings together people and resources, providing unbiased research, technical expertise, and learning opportunities that equip, inspire, and inform elected officials and policymakers about key issues across the education continuum (prenatal to postsecondary). The early childhood technical assistance work of The Hunt Institute includes supporting state teams, holding national and state-level convenings, and hosting peer-to-peer learning communities. Its vision is an equitable American education system through which all learners achieve their highest potential in school and life.

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