Our 2019 Education Grants

Posted on October 01, 2019

After two years of community engagement and giving within early learning and summer learning loss, we launched a planning and assessment phase of work in the fall of 2018 to gather input and identify areas of opportunity. With the vision and leadership of our co-founders, we decided to focus on families and the critical role they play in their children’s development and learning. For more detail on our focus in education, please see our Executive Director’s Spring 2019 Education Update.

In 2019, we kicked off our education grantmaking with investments in three areas:

  • Culturally responsive, research-based home visiting to strengthen and expand supports for families with young children.
  • School- and community-based programs that engage families in their children’s learning through leveraging partnerships and research-based practices.
  • Advocacy for public resources for high-quality programs for children and their families.

1. Culturally responsive, research-based home visiting.

One of our earliest philanthropic gifts was to support the scaling efforts of United Way of King County to bring the culturally responsive, research-based home visiting program ParentChild+ (then called Parent Child Home Program) to more families. We also made direct gifts to providers including El Centro de la Raza, Southwest Youth & Family Services, Chinese Information and Service Center, and Children’s Home Society of Washington. We met with home visitors, kept our eye on the data, and recognized the powerful intersection of engaging parents/caregivers and providing economic opportunity to culturally diverse home visitors best positioned to build trust and work effectively with families. Building on that history, and in sync with investments from the City of Seattle and King County’s Best Start for Kids, we made a $2.3 million grant in 2019 to United Way to support ParentChild+ over the next 4 years. Our grant will support:

  • Continued implementation by community providers of the ParentChild+ home visiting research-based program, including evaluation and learning;
  • Capacity building support for smaller, grassroots providers;
  • Expansion and evaluation of the innovative Family Child Care Model in King County;
  • Continuity for ParentChild+ families who move outside of King County limits.

In the years to come, we are excited to be part of the continued growth of this terrific program in communities within and beyond King County.

2. School- and community-based programs that engage families in their children’s learning.

Family Engagement & Advocacy Funding Cycle

In March 2019, SFF issued a Request for Proposals for community- and school-based programs that engage families in their children’s learning and as advocates for their children’s education.

We prioritized programs that reflect research-based practices in family engagement: they consult with and actively engage families in learning, are culturally responsive and strengths-based, and sustain engagement with families over time.

With a total investment of $2,700,000 over three years, grants will support nine organizations, now profiled on our website:

We welcome the opportunity to learn alongside these strong organizations, and we are committed to doing our own work to ensure we show up as a trustworthy partner.

Academic Parent Teacher Teams

Building on existing family engagement efforts in The Road Map Project region, a cohort of nine elementary schools will be piloting, with coaching and support, a research-based family engagement practice called Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT). APTT is a model of family engagement that is grounded in the notion that schools can thrive when families and teachers work together, as genuine partners, to maximize student learning inside and outside of school. The model aligns grade-level learning concepts, student performance data, and family-teacher communication and collaboration. This regional pilot will be implemented and evaluated over the next three years, sharing learning across three school districts and the broader region. We are partnering with WestEd and the Community Center for Education Results on this project, with Education Northwest serving as an evaluation partner. This is an exciting opportunity for SFF to support and learn alongside teachers and families.

The pilot will launch in the following South Seattle, Highline and Tukwila public schools, reaching more than 2,800 students and their families.

  • McMicken Heights Elementary School
  • South Shore Pk-8
  • Tukwila Elementary School
  • Van Asselt Elementary School
  • Thorndyke Elementary School
  • Hilltop Elementary School
  • Bow Lake Elementary School
  • Mount View Elementary School
  • Thurgood Marshall Elementary Schools

Click here to see APTT in action in Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

3. Advocacy for public resources for high-quality programs for children and their families.

While most of our funding will support programs in communities, we also designated some funds for key “system level” partners as they advocate for more resources and supports for nonprofit providers.

In 2019, we made a 3-year commitment to Schools Out Washington (SOWA) for the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Quality Initiative and their advocacy work. Investing in summer and after-school programs over many years, we saw how critical public funding is for this sector, and we are hopeful that our public partners will continue to support the expanded learning and youth development field.

In addition to the above areas of focus, we continue to support a few organizations and funder tables such as PEPS, Zeno, Reach Out & Read Washington and the Rapid Resource Fund of the Roadmap Aligned Funders group.

We believe in getting resources out to organizations working on the frontlines with families and in schools. On that note, we have fully committed our 2019 education budget and are eager to engage in these areas this fall and plan for 2020 and beyond.