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SVP International

$90k Invested in Collective Action to Improve Education

Posted by Zamzam Abdulgani

Photo / Seattle University Youth Initiative

SVP’s Education Collective Action Team (EduCAT) invests in local, collective action initiatives addressing the disparities in our education system. These initiatives approach equitable change as a cradle-to-career continuum that can and should be inclusive of the voices of historically marginalized communities.

Buoyed by last year’s success and the rich opportunities for growth, the EduCAT is re-investing in past investees to support continued efforts in family engagement and advocacy. Check out our 2017 grants below!

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition & OneAmerica

Building on previous success, and the understanding that relationship building takes time and resources, OneAmerica and Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC) will continue to deepen their partnership to support children in our region. SESEC is a coalition made up of nonprofits in Southeast Seattle focused on education, while OneAmerica is focused on immigrant and refugee communities across the state.

The EduCAT’s grant of $30,000 will enable the two organizations to continue addressing equity in education in Southeast Seattle, as well as strengthen their shared approach to education advocacy. This specifically will ensure community voice is incorporated into the planning and implementation of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to comply with federal education law. The Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) originally released their ESSA plan in the fall of 2016. The office received criticism from the community and the State Board of Education on their hurried timeline which only allows 30 days for public feedback. SESEC and OneAmerica’s joint advocacy efforts around the lack of accessibility for community members to understand and review the State’s ESSA plan resulted in OSPI extending their deadline for public feedback.

The EduCAT’s grant will further allow OneAmerica and SESEC to develop multilingual trainings for parents to understand all aspects of the law, and to work with their partners to ensure community feedback is integrated into the state ESSA plan. Additionally, SESEC and OneAmerica will draw on the expertise of parents, students, educators, and community leaders to ensure the state’s ESSA plan holds schools accountable for issues such as racial disparities in school discipline and protections for children with special needs.

For more on this dynamic partnership, check out what SESEC and OneAmerica were able to achieve together last year!

Road Map Project

The Road Map Project constitutes a seven district initiative operated by the Community Center for Education Results (CCER). The initiative is working to close the education gap between South Seattle and South King County and their peers across the region. The Road Map Project has spent the last year undertaking a strategic refresh process to reassess their tactics and approach to closing the achievement gap. Ultimately, the process raised a need to amplify community voice across the Road Map Project in order to connect and be accountable to the communities the project aims to serve.

As such, this year’s EduCAT grant of $30,000 will support the development of a Community Leadership Team that will develop decision-making protocols for the project, establish system level targets, and support implementation of established priorities. The EduCAT feels that this grant is critical to ensuring the Road Map Project reaches their 2030 goal with the support of the community.

To learn more about how the Road Map Project is evolving to increase equitable policies and practices in our education system, read our recent story on the Project’s strategic refresh.

Seattle University Youth Initiative

With a continued interest in increasing family engagement in the education system — specifically with families from historically marginalized communities — the EduCAT learned about the Seattle University Youth Initiative’s (SUYI) Family Talk Time program. SUYI is a place-based initiative that, among other services, strengthens education support to the Yesler neighborhood. Through their Family Talk Time program, SUYI’s family engagement work supports English language learning parents in navigating the education system and advocating on behalf of their children.

The EduCAT awarded SUYI $20,000 to support their efforts engaging Yesler Terrace families in education. The investment also leverages additional dollars from the city of Seattle through the Technology Matching Fund grant, as well as funding from an individual donor.

Rapid Resource Pooled Fund

In early 2014, a segment of the Aligned Funders of the Road Map Project came together to create the Rapid Resource Pooled Fund (RRPF) in an effort to build a faster collective response addressing the needs of nonprofits and school partners working on the Road Map Project. Every year, members of the RRPF each commit a portion of their grant dollars to the pooled fund. The sum is then used to invest in immediate, short term opportunities that leverage larger, systems level gaps in the education landscape.

This will be SVP’s fourth year of investment in the pooled fund, contributing $10,000

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. This year, members of the RRPF each committed a small portion of their grant dollars to total $85,000 for capacity building and programmatic development aimed to strengthen the Road Map.

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

Examples of past 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

Get Involved

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, contact Mike Quinn.

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