Apr 20, 2020 · 4 min read

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Commits $5 Million to COVID-19 Response for Educators and Families

Initial Funding Announced Today will Support Professional Development for Teachers and School Leaders -- Along with Expanded Broadband Internet Access for Students

Photograph by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced today that it will commit $5 million in COVID-19 Response Grants to support educators and families. The funding will focus on supporting the social emotional and mental health of educators and families — and increasing access to high-quality learning opportunities for all children.

“We’re committed to ensuring every student—not just a lucky few—can get an education that supports every aspect of their development, and we’re proud to support organizations working to make that possible during these unprecedented times,” said Sandra Liu Huang, Head of Education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The set of COVID-19 Response Grants announced today will support:

  • Professional development for school leaders and educators on delivering high-quality distance learning, grounded in racial equity, cultural responsiveness and the sciences of learning and human development.
  • Efforts to expand comprehensive broadband solutions to ensure students in underserved communities have access to infrastructure to enable distance learning.

These initial commitments include:

Professional development for school leaders and educators

  • $250,000 to CatalystEd to connect principals and district leaders to direct coaching and planning support based on its COVID-19 Response Roadmaps.
  • $250,000 to Education Leaders of Color to bring school and district leaders together in an online forum to solve the most pressing problems school and system leaders are identifying throughout the COVID-19 crisis. They will also provide up to 30 collaboration grants to participants.
  • $275,000 to New York City Leadership Academy to sponsor coaching and customized services for education leaders school districts across the country. Training will be available online on a continuous basis and they will be producing open source materials to share with 15,000 leaders across their network.

Efforts to expand comprehensive broadband solutions

  • $125,000 to the Alliance for Excellent Education and its Future Ready Network of superintendents and educators to continue efforts to advocate for solutions that address home internet connectivity for children who do not currently have access to it.
  • $200,000 to The Education Trust to support advocacy and research on supports and solutions to meet the challenge of educating children, particularly students of color and those from low-income families, during the coronavirus pandemic. This effort will include expanding access to broadband services and mitigating learning loss in the short- and long-term, as well as food and nutrition services.
  • $75,000 to Mississippi First, a nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization that advocates for a quality education for all Mississippi students, including working with a national coalition on solutions to home internet connectivity, a significant concern in Mississippi’s rural communities and for its underserved, minority populations.
  • $150,000 to the National Governors Association and its Center for Best Practices to support governors in identifying school and community needs and gaps in student and family access to technology and connectivity to allow for the continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and in identifying potential solutions that advance students’ learning.
  • $150,000 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to work with state and local chambers to create a public awareness campaign, targeted at states and districts experiencing the greatest need, around the policy options available to address home internet connectivity for children who do not currently have access to it.

The COVID Response Fund also will support social emotional and mental health and academic resources to help educators and families. These grants build on the more than $1.6 million CZI has already given to support increased resources for students, families and school districts impacted by school closures.

Join us for a Facebook Live on Supporting Student Learning and Well-being

Priscilla Chan, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Linda Darling-Hammond, CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, will do a Facebook Live on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 1:15 p.m. PDT on supporting student learning and wellbeing. The conversation will focus on the ways in which educators and families can support student learning, mental health and social-emotional needs. Watch at facebook.com/chanzuckerberginitiative.

For more information about how CZI and our partners are responding to COVID-19, visit chanzuckerberg.com/covid-19/resources/education/.


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

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