The Power of Positivity: Shining a Light on EdTech Do-Gooders
I have a favorite t-shirt that reads "Good People Do Good Things" and that got me thinking about so many positive stories happening around education today, particularly where tech innovators are partnering with schools to do extraordinarily good things around the country. The Square 32 team is on a mission to shine a light on these EdTech Do-Gooders, and from time to time we'll blog about them. From defending civil liberties for all to narrowing equity gaps for pre-K through college-age students, here are our first five: ADL & Bites Media help high schools with the most difficult conversations of our time For more than 100 years, ADL has fought for a world devoid of bias, discrimination, and hate. This fall, ADL Education is teaming up with Bites Media to provide a new, standards-based curriculum for high schools that stresses the values of respect, diversity, and active participation as the pillars of a democratic society. Civics teachers, students, and parents can together examine current events from multiple perspectives and tackle the controversial and difficult discussions around today's civic and social issues. The curriculum, entitled Strengthening Our Democracy: Civic Participation in the 21st Century, is 100% free and taught through interactive, multi-media news stories. Learn more.
Teaching about the Right to Vote and Women's Equality Day, August 26th Students at every grade level can learn about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Thanks to the National Education Association (NEA), educators have a one-stop resource center for teaching about Women's Equality, with downloadable units, lesson plans, infographics, and stories for grades K-12. Not suprisingly, Bites Media also offers free, interactive content on Voters' Rights for middle and high school classrooms, whether virtual or in-person. Square 32 is amplifying the critical message to vote this November - together as educators, mentors, and parents, we can lead by example and show our future citizens the importance of active civic engagement.
James B. McClatchy Foundation - dedicated to young learners & communities in need
So often, the most powerful stories in education are found locally on the front lines when community partners work together to uplift the most vulnerable, both in extraordinary times like during Covid-19, and year-round. James B. McClatchy Foundation (JBMF) supports Pre-K English Learners and advocates for First Amendment Rights for marginalized communities across the largely rural regions and small towns of California's Central Valley. The JBMF team works with the tireless staff and educators of Central Valley districts and organizations who apply grant funding towards a wide breadth of resources, from grassroots civic engagement programs to WiFi hotspots, iPads, and Chromebooks for young learners, to mental health support, translation services, and tens of thousands of meals. We invite you to learn more about the life-changing work behind JBMF's LIFT Grants Initiative for civic engagement, and Growing Strong Learners Pre-K Grants.
T-Mobile's Project 10 Million reduces the "Homework Gap" across America Education leaders unanimously recognize that the digital divide is real, with 35 million U.S. households with children and about 15% of those without internet access. This digital inequity makes online assignments and communication virtually impossible for students of struggling families, leading to lower academic scores, thus, the "homework gap". T-Mobile for Education announces its $10 billion commitment to making free internet access and up to $700 million toward hardware available for 10 million households over the next five years. School district eligibility is based on student population, percentage of free and reduced lunch participants, and number of students in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). As Project 10 Million kicks off this fall, the program will bridge the digital divide for millions of children who lack connectivity at home. We say bravo, T-Mobile!
Edquity raises $ millions in emergency cash to support struggling college students The Edquity team helps narrow equity gaps and facilitate social mobility using an innovative college financial planning app to assist high school and college students, and to distribute emergency aid to students who need it most. But that's just their day job. Earlier this year, led by Founder & CEO, David Helene, Edquity also closed an oversubscribed $2.4 million seed financing round to work with more institutions nationwide and bring their emergency cash grant and basic needs insecurity technology to millions more college students who struggle with hunger, homelessness, and financial insecurity every day. In response to Covid-19, the company also launched COVIDCollegeSupport.com to help students navigate emergencies during the pandemic, and made their emergency aid solution free for two colleges. We are in awe of Team Edquity!
Square 32 lives at the intersection of education, technology, marketing, and social good and we're proud to share this first round of well-deserving EdTech Do-Gooders. Reach out with questions or comments and stay tuned for more.