As schools around the country scramble to get ready for a new school year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has announced grants totaling $950,000 to nine nonprofits working to develop online content for students and professional learning experiences for teachers.
The grants will support efforts to address the needs of parents and educators as they navigate accessibility gaps exacerbated by the shift to remote learning, including a lack of culturally relevant materials and a shortage of digital resources for students with special needs and English learners. Awards include $100,000 to the Teaching Lab in Washington, D.C., to develop online content that helps educators foster an increased sense of belonging among students; $100,000 to ed tech nonprofit CommonLit to roll out a unique, culturally responsive curriculum for grades 5-12 that includes free parent accounts and resources in Spanish; $100,000 to North Carolina-based Village of Wisdom to create a clearinghouse of culturally sustaining interventions as well as partnerships with families and parents to certify products for use in homes of historically marginalized groups of students; and $100,000 to ed tech nonprofit LiftEd App in support of the further development of its cloud-based platform, which integrates individualized education programs (IEPs) and keeps them in sync for use in daily instruction, intervention, and support practices.
"Longstanding disparities in education have been laid bare by the transition to remote learning," said Sandra Liu Huang, CZI's head of education. "While access to technology is critical, these grants are designed to provide educators and families with high-quality resources, which are vital in advancing student learning and well-being. We are proud of the work we have been doing with these organizations over the last few months to develop this plan to better equip educators to serve students from marginalized populations during these unprecedented times."