Foundation Voices

Foundation Update January 2023

Foundation Update January 2023


Initiative to Advance Community Schools in Deep South Gaining Momentum and National Recognition

Just three years following the inception of its Community Schools Initiative, The NEA Foundation’s investment in the development of community schools across the Deep South is receiving national attention.

The Brookings Institution, widely respected for its policy research, recently released an in-depth article highlighting the leadership of the Foundation in advancing community schools. The article follows the expansion of the Foundation’s Community Schools Initiative in 2022 to rural schools and organizations both in Arkansas and in Mississippi. Near the end of 2022, the Foundation awarded planning grants to the Quitman County Development Organization and Quitman County Public Schools in Marks, Mississippi. and the Rural Community Alliance in Arkansas. It is anticipated that these partners will facilitate the transformation of at least seven local public schools to full-service community schools. The newly funded sites join others previously funded by the Foundation throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Altogether, the Foundation’s grantees comprise The Southern Regional Alliance for Community Schools (SRACS), addressing the holistic needs of students and closing opportunity gaps by focusing on the links between student and family well-being and effective teaching and learning.

By providing grants, engaging experts to coach funded sites, regularly convening and building a community of practice, and helping to inform related local, state, and federal policies, the Foundation’s aim is to ensure the development of exemplary school sites whose experience can be leveraged to increase the utilization of principles and practices proven to improve students’ educational experience and outcomes in southern regional and rural contexts nationwide.

For more information about the community schools strategy, please contact The NEA Foundation and access the following excellent resources: Brookings; LPI Community Schools Costing Tool; National Center for Community Schools; and Institute for Educational Leadership.


Foundation Grants Offer Opportunities for Educators to Get a Jump Start on 2023

Are you an educator excited about a potential classroom project or professional development experience but you lack the resources to bring your dream to life? Well, look no further than an NEA Foundation grant.

Educators who are NEA members are encouraged to apply for any of three grant opportunities ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Visit our website to learn all about Envision Equity Grants, Learning & Leadership Grants, and Student Success Grants.

If you’ve never submitted a grant application, don’t worry! Feel free to use this helpful step-by-step video as a guide to completing your application.

Be sure to apply for your Foundation grant by February 1, 2023!


Up Close Explores the Transformative Power of Community Schools

As public education leaders and stakeholders across the country reimagine school – the community schools strategy has proven especially effective in closing both equity and opportunity gaps.

Dr. Jane Quinn, a matriarch of community schools, was recently featured on the Up Close Podcast with Sara Sneed to discuss the tremendous impact the community school strategy has had in communities nationwide. In episode 4, “Community Schools: Doable and Worth Doing,” Dr. Quinn and Sara explore how thoughtful investments matched with powerful family, school, and community partnerships can transform every school into one where students thrive.

Join the conversation and learn more about the present and future of public education by subscribing to the Up Close Podcast with Sara Sneed and listening wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Be sure to check out other episodes featuring leading voices in public education here.


Celebrating Global Learning Fellows Past, Present & Future

‘Tis the season of global learning! Fresh off of completing their fellowship year, the 2022 class of NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows are elated to share their capstone microsites. Comprising diverse subjects from mathematics to social studies, these resources are ready-made for educators at every level, featuring lesson plans and activities aimed at bringing global competency into classrooms and communities.

Read here bout how one educator brought global learning into her mathematics instruction.

This past fall, the Foundation welcomed the 2023 fellows to Washington D.C., kickstarting their year-long learning journey with a two-day conference. The event featured dynamic guest speakers, educator collaboration, and goal-setting for the year ahead.

Are you interested in taking part in this year-long professional development experience culminating in a field study in Costa Rica? If so, apply to become a 2024 Global Learning Fellow! Applications are open now through April 1 to all educators who have a deep appreciation for global learning, wish to bring global learning into their classrooms, and are NEA members. Please visit our website to learn more.


Five Talented Educators Celebrated for Teaching Excellence

The NEA Foundation is proud to celebrate the 2023 Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence recipients ! These awardees were selected for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.

“These talented educators have connected powerfully with students, supporting them in the moment and empowering them for the future,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “Their educational expertise, commitment to serving students’ diverse needs, and ability to uplift their colleagues are fundamental to creating robust and inclusive learning environments for all.”

Learn more about each of the awardees! The Horace Mann award recipients will be honored during the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education on May 5, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Donor Spotlight

The NEA Foundation extends its gratitude to all of the individual donors who help advance the Foundation’s mission to promote the absolute best in public education. One donor whose commitment to public education is supporting this important work is Mickey Ibarra. Mickey is a longtime public education advocate, president of the Ibarra Strategy Group in Washington, DC, and chairman of Latino Leaders Network. He recently became a legacy donor to the Foundation. Read as he reflects on how we can all build a bright future for public education. If you would like to support The NEA Foundation, make a gift online today or visit the other ways to give page on the Foundation’s website to learn how you can make a monthly gift, honor a friend or family member, give by stock and so much more.





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