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SVP International

$95k Invested in Collective Action to Improve Education

Posted by Zamzam Abdulgani

Photo from the Road Map Project, one of SVP’s investees.

This year, SVP’s Education Collective Action Team (EduCAT) maintained its focus on parent engagement and English Language Learners, which was informed by significant research, local need, SVP’s commitment to equity and past success.

Last year’s investments in the Family Engagement Institute as well as surveys and support of South Seattle families have both exceeded expectations and highlighted rich opportunities for re-investment. Check out our 2016 grants below!

Road Map Project

From cradle to career, parent and family engagement is crucial to a student’s success in school. It’s an also an area ripe for coordination, which is why SVP’s EduCAT re-invested in the Family Engagement Institute hosted by the Road Map Project and the Community Center for Education Results (CCER).

This August at the Family Engagement Institute, principals, teachers, parent leaders, community partners and other key district staff will gather and learn how to engage families in a culturally responsive way – walking away with tools to drive equity and transform systems.

In an effort to ensure that knowledge and relationships built at the institute aren’t lost, SVP’s investment of $37,500 will enable CCER to contract with the Institute for Educational Leadership (the experts behind the Family Engagement Institute) to provide year-round technical assistance for institute participants and regional school districts.

With the ability to make nimble investments, SVP is uniquely positioned to fund this partnership between CCER and the Institute for Educational Leadership, hopefully paving the way for other funders. EduCAT members are particularly excited to support capacity building for local leaders who will champion family engagement in their communities.

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition and One America

Building on last year’s investment, One America and the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC) are eager to deepen their partnership by building an education agenda for communities of color that cuts across the two organizations and amplifies parent voices to shape policy decisions.

Both SESEC and One America are looked to as leaders in community engagement and advocacy in education – though they serve different populations. One America is focused on immigrant and refugee community leaders across the state and SESEC is made up of education-focused nonprofits in Southeast Seattle. This grant enables the two organizations to strengthen their shared approach to education advocacy with support from racial equity consultant Heidi Shillinger.

SVP provided a $37,500 grant to SESEC and One America, which was complimented by investments from other local foundations that support these groups individually.

Seattle University Youth Initiative and the Yesler Community Collaborative

Through the EduCAT’s 2015 fall education phase, members began exploring the Yesler Community Collaborative’s (YCC) collective action approach – knitting together education, health, environment and affordable housing. The education component of YCC is led by Seattle University’s Youth Initiative – strengthening educational services for youth in the neighborhood. Woven into their approach is English Language Learning support and family engagement.

EduCAT members see significant value in working with and learning from YCC and Seattle University’s Youth Initiative as well as an opportunity to deepen their YCC investments in the years to come. SVP’s $10,000 grant will be used to support the school and neighborhood partnership around Baily Gatzert Elementary.

Rapid Resource Pooled Fund

SVP participates in a number of funder collaboratives, recognizing that we can make a greater impact by investing together. In early 2014, Aligned Funders of the Road Map Project created the Rapid Resource Pooled Fund (RRPF) in an effort to build a faster and more collaborative response to meeting the needs of nonprofits and school partners working on the Road Map Project. Members of the RRPF each commit a small portion of their grant dollars, totaling $150,000.

This will be SVP’s third year of investment in the pooled fund, contributing $10,000. Other RRPF funders include: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ballmer Group – Philanthropy, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, College Spark, Raikes Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, Seattle Foundation, and the Stolte Family Foundation.

Examples of projects supported by RRPF grants include:

  • Budget analysis of state investment in school districts to be used for strategy and implementation around closing the opportunity gap for low income students of color
  • Curriculum and communication support for bi-literacy teacher training and bilingual instructional assistance
  • Branding and messaging support for summer learning program launch with Schools Out Washington
  • Support for a summer Social Emotional Learning Symposium around best practice and measurement
  • King County Housing Authority school attendance campaign implementation

If you are interested in learning more about SVP’s collective action work or about joining one of our Collective Action Teams to help select next year’s investees, please contact Mike Quinn.


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