Foundation Voices

May/June Foundation Update

May/June Foundation Update


NEW Grants for Educators – Available NOW!

With the COVID-19 pandemic underscoring the need to reimagine education, the NEA Foundation is excited to help educators meet the needs of the whole child through its new Envision Equity Grants.

These grants enable educators to test creative ideas and innovations, demonstrating exemplary teaching and learning. The NEA Foundation wants to ensure that educators have opportunities to lead in an equity-focused reimagining of public education, encouraging students’ love of learning, and the best possible educational experience for every child. Envision Equity Grants will support students’ project-based learning, advancing cultural understanding and appreciation, anti-racism commitments, and students’ understanding of civic engagement and democracy.

The new opportunity is an addition to already existing Student Success and Learning & Leadership grants. The Foundation is currently accepting applications for all three grant programs with deadlines on June 1 and October 15. To learn more about all of our grant opportunities, please visit our website.



Community Schools in the South Offer Golden Opportunity for Greater Education Equity

There are more than 5,000 community schools in the U.S. today, and their effectiveness has been well-documented. But right now, there are very few community schools in the South.

This is why, in 2020, the NEA Foundation launched a major new initiative, known as the Southern Regional Alliance for Community Schools, to support the development of community schools across the South. Focused on closing opportunity gaps in public school districts in Baton Rouge, La., Jackson, Miss., and Little Rock, Ark. the Foundation is working in partnership with multiple organizations in each of these cities to advance community schools as a strategy to serve students’ diverse needs and address educational equity issues.

In a recent blog post, Foundation President and CEO Sara A. Sneed addressed the opportunities that lie ahead in reimagining the role of public schools in communities, particularly in the South.


Arkansas Lays Groundwork for Community Schools with Legislative Win

In late April, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law Act 744 of 2021—the Community Schools Act. Made possible through the advocacy of several organizations such as the Arkansas Education Association and ForwARd Arkansas, and with the support of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., this legislation provides a roadmap for Arkansas schools wishing to pursue community school strategies, including integrated student supports, expanded learning time, active family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership practices.

Associate Director of Forward Arkansas, Cory Biggs, has shared a few lessons learned as community schools policy became a reality in Arkansas. To learn more, check out his blog post, Building a Community Schools Future in Arkansas.

Catch another glimpse of the Batesville School District where the community school strategy is already in early implementation:


Cheerios and Cheers: A 100 Day Celebration of Public Education

The 100th day of school is a celebrated day for many elementary school students across the country. Cheerio necklaces with 100 pieces are carefully strung. Scavenger hunts are conducted to round up 100 items and art projects showcase 100 dots in different formations.

As the nation marked the 100th day of the Biden Administration this month, what were the causes for public school advocates to celebrate? The Foundation’s new Chief of Strategic Initiatives, Elizabeth Schneider highlights three milestones that bode well for a bright future role in finding success.

Read more about the Biden Administration’s commitment to reimagining public education and closing the equity gap.



Celebrating Educators’ Impact During Teacher Appreciation Week

We love public school educators! The NEA Foundation was delighted to join the virtual recognition of educators and educational excellence during national Teacher Appreciation Week. To keep the celebration going, watch inspiring stories of outstanding educators on the NEA Foundation website!!

During Teacher Appreciation Week, educators, students, and families honored the important contributions of professionals in public education. Iowa educator and 2020 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence recipient Kerisa Baedke paid tribute to teachers across the country for overcoming challenges and thriving during a school year like no other.


Public Education in the News


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