Throughout our nation and across our world significant challenges are rising as we strive to keep students safe, healthy, and learning during the COVID – 19 pandemic. As teachers, you have had to react quickly to new systems of learning. It is like creating a homemade recipe for maintaining high quality remote learning while also addressing the physical and emotional well being of your students, their families, your family and of course, yourself.
Federal agencies, states, and private sector funders are working hard to add ingredients and help you meet the challenges. There is a batch of resources and flexibility to communities in support of efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mixing in with the many funds are provisions of the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27. Agencies, like the U.S. Department of Education, are providing menus of guidance on flexibilities within existing funding that can be used in response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has exploded requests for basic needs to keep students and families afloat. In response, many community foundations have changed their education giving strategies. Here are a few samplings of what is happening with local funders:
- The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta committed $2.2 million for children’s educational needs and to provide food for students and families- a sizable slice of the nearly $12 million it raised for the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
- The Silicon Valley Community Foundation in California refreshed its grant making to respond to COVID-19 by providing nearly $95 million. It added ingredients of social and emotional health and wellness support for students, families and staff; remote learning, including equipment, IT support and training for teachers and staff; emergency child care centers to help people who cannot work from home; nutrition services, and family engagement.
- The New York Community Trust raised more than $95 million for its NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. Requests pour in to develop online content for core academic subjects as well as arts education.
- The Oregon Community Foundation is exploring support for rural and homeless students as part of its efforts to increase families’ access to technology.
Deadlines are being pushed out making it the right time to mix up the ingredients and create a recipe of funding to support your students and their families. Start assembling the grants you need to get cooking!