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New Schools Venture Fund: Literacy Solutions to Empower Black, Latino, and Low-income Students

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Students of all races, abilities, and linguistic backgrounds deserve the opportunity to build literacy skills. In particular, there is a need for literacy content and tools that better meet the unique needs of Black, Latino, and low-income students. Learning solutions can create opportunities for effective instruction by honoring these students’ experiences, supporting their academic and social growth, and encouraging them to use their voices – in and beyond the classroom.

Literacy Solutions to Empower Black, Latino, and Low-income Students (Literacy Solutions) will invest in early-stage innovators working at the intersection of literacy and equity. It seeks innovators with bold ideas to support Black, Latino, and low-income students to build literacy skills, including:

  • Supplemental tools that seamlessly integrate within existing classrooms – for example, vocabulary building activities used to enhance math lessons.
  • Core instructional approaches that reimagine an entire subject area – for example, an ELA curriculum and teacher supports that improve culturally responsive instruction.

These solutions can be designed to reach students, educators, and parents across a range of learning environments. Literacy Solutions is also open to high, low, or no-tech solutions. However, all ideas must be informed by instructional expertise and grounded in research.

Given the strategic focus of this opportunity, New School Venture Fund is especially interested in connecting with innovators whose personal experiences are aligned with our target student populations, including Black and Latino leaders, people who have experienced poverty, English Language Learners, and people with disabilities.

Amount: A total of $3,000,000 is available. Organizations will receive support in four areas:

  • Funding: A one-year grant of $150,000 to $250,000 (depending on stage)
  • Research and equity support: Additional capital for customized partnerships with researchers and equity-based designers
  • Communities of practice: Opportunities to build relationships with and learn from other Learning Solutions founders
  • Management assistance: Access to relevant, timely, and customized support from New School Venture Fund’s team and external experts

Eligibility: Nonprofit and for-profit organizations may apply.

New School Venture Fund seeks to invest primarily in organizations between 0 and 3 years old. In addition, it will consider new initiatives being developed at more mature organizations. It is also open to working with educators or researchers with early ideas and plans to bring promising literacy practices to market within the next year.

Link: https://www.newschools.org/learning-solutions-application/

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