The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announces a round of grants to organizations supporting students and caregivers to leverage their voice and power in school and district decision-making.
With a commitment of more than $17 million, the organizations will build capacity and expand their work with schools, districts, and communities to help classrooms both foster students’ sense of belonging and academic growth.
Sandra Liu Huang, head of education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, said: “More than ever, it’s critical that classrooms provide a safe space for students to flourish, and who better to partner with educators to shape those spaces than students and their families. By putting the voices of students and caregivers at the center, these communities are well positioned to transform our education system to accelerate student learning and support student wellbeing.”
A recent study indicated that students, on average, could experience up to five to nine months of unfinished learning by the end of June 2021. This will be especially true for students of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. “
Taryn Ishida, Executive Director, Californians for Justice, uttered: “When it comes to inequities in our schools, we can only understand the true power and potential at the intersections of racial and educational justice when we listen to our youth,” said “They are not the future leaders of tomorrow but rather the powerful leaders we need today. We have to rally together — students, teachers, community organizers, philanthropic partners, all of us — to rebuild and reimagine our schools and communities. Only then can we collectively heal and thrive.”
Research shows that academic learning happens best when students feel seen, known, and supported, this is especially critical to advancing equity in education. An equitable education system starts with getting every child access to what they need to succeed.
Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, said: “Parents expect to be engaged as true partners with schools in their children’s education, and in our latest parent survey, nearly two-thirds told us they have been more involved since the beginning of the pandemic. This grant will help us provide critical support for parents across the country and make sure families are part of the conversation about educational equity, student well-being, and unfinished learning in their communities.”
The grants aim to directly support the students and families most impacted by the challenges in the education system – Black, Brown and Indigenous communities – to ensure equitable access to opportunity and that all students receive a high quality education that supports their wellbeing and academic success.