Oct 14, 2019 · 4 min read

AASA Awarded $400,000 Grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Promote Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Schools


Alexandria, Va. – October 14, 2019 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to announce the organization has received a $400,000, three-year grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to explore and strengthen policies and programs superintendents and other administrators are creating to advance social and emotional learning outcomes for students nationwide. 

“Momentum for social and emotional learning has grown exponentially over the last several years and has truly turned into a global movement to improve education and life outcomes for youth and adults,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Today, demand for SEL from states and school districts is at an all time high. We are grateful for the support given to us by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative allowing us to bolster this work.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is using technology to help solve some of our toughest challenges — from preventing and eradicating disease, to improving learning experiences for kids, to reforming the criminal justice system.

 Founded by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the philanthropy’s mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. CZI’s focus in education is aimed at ensuring every young person enters adulthood with the skills and abilities they need to reach their full potential – and that every teacher is equipped with the research-based tools and practices they need to help students get there.

“We are excited to partner with AASA to support the leadership of our public school systems,” said K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Director of Whole Child Development, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “AASA’s SEL Cohort is engaged in meaningful dialogue about how social and emotional learning is contributing to the whole child—from physical and mental health to the development of fundamental lifelong learning skills.” 

Today’s announcement comes a few months after the launch of the AASA SEL Cohort, comprised of superintendents and other administrators, to increase capacity to effectively lead positive change—geared toward the social and emotional outcomes for all students. 

School system leaders throughout the country will gather in Alexandria, Va. for Leading Social and Emotional Learning: A National Summit on Superintendent SEL Leadership, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Timothy Shriver, chair of the Special Olympics, is serving as one of the event’s keynote speakers. The regular cohort meeting will follow, Oct 14-15. The cohort’s advisory committee includes: 

Co-sponsors of the meeting include Panorama Education, Move This World and Right at School. The Cohort’s inaugural meeting was held in Nashville, Tenn., March 31-April 2. Click here to view a photo gallery capturing highlights. 

“No one can argue that this is one of the most critical fields in public education,” said Mort Sherman, associate executive director, leadership network, AASA. “We are hoping to grow this new cohort with experts who are the leading innovators and risk takers in the field of SEL.”

For more information or to find out how to participate in the AASA SEL Cohort, visit the AASA website or contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, leadership network, at 703.875.0726 or msherman@aasa.org, or Bernadine Futrell, AASA director, leadership network, at 703.875.0717 or bfutrell@aasa.org.


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. 

About 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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