Reimagine Education Grants Will Support Equity-Focused Organizations
Funding awarded by the Minneapolis Foundation totals more than $1.2 million.
The Minneapolis Foundation today announced more than $1.2 million in Reimagine Education grants to 22 schools and organizations that are advancing equity in Minnesota’s K-12 education system.
“All students deserve access to an excellent education,” said Patrice Relerford, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Senior Director of Impact and Collective Giving. “These grants reflect our commitment to honoring the lived experiences of the many students, parents, teachers, and school leaders who are working toward that goal, expanding what works and reinventing what they tell us doesn’t work.”
Reimagine Education grants support organizations and projects that:
- Elevate student and community voices and power to build bridges between schools, families, and communities and improve school climates and academic outcomes.
- Provide opportunities for educators to build their understanding of race and equity and implement strategies that create culturally responsive and inclusive schools.
- Advocate for policies at the school, local, and state level to address systemic barriers to racial equity in Minnesota’s education system.
These grants flow from the Foundation’s Reimagine Education strategy, a collaborative initiative that transforms research into collective action to make Minnesota’s schools better for all students.
Photos provided by Groves Academy and Thrive Ed.
One 2022 Reimagine Education grant recipient, Thrive Ed, will use its funding to offer Design2Thrive workshops for educators in Hopkins Public Schools and neighboring districts. Designed and led by students, these workshops provide space and expert facilitation for teachers, students, and other school leaders to engage on topics such as power-sharing and restorative justice practices.
“This grant means Thrive Ed will be able to work shoulder to shoulder with young people to help facilitate innovative change in classrooms and schools,” said Nicole Dimich, the organization’s Executive Director. “Thrive Ed student interns and educators will work with other educators and their students to facilitate conversation and co-design school transformation where students are agents of change.”
The complete list of grants announced today is as follows:
- Advancing Equity Coalition – $75,000 to educate the public about issues facing Indigenous, Black, and students of color in Minneapolis Public Schools, and to partner with parents, teachers, students, and community members to develop policy solutions that can be addressed at the school board and state level.
- All Voices Studio, LLC (fiscal sponsor: Pillsbury United Communities) – $60,000 to expand coverage of Minneapolis Public Schools in Southwest Voices by recruiting more correspondents to cover social, cultural, and political issues. All Voices Studio, LLC will also create a solutions-based reporting framework and launch Minneapolis Schools Voices, an open-access information and engagement hub for parents, students, and educators.
- American Indian OIC – $30,000 for Takoda Prep, a culturally relevant high school in Minneapolis that offers individualized instruction and career support grounded in American Indian traditions. Funding will support the onboarding of a new leader, recruitment of talent for open staff positions, and creation of a new strategic plan.
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society – $59,096 to collaborate with the American Indian Education Team of Minneapolis Public Schools to implement Teacher Engagement and Motivation for Indigenous Students (TEAM-IS). TEAM-IS trains teachers and educational support staff on best practices to systemically incorporate local Indigenous cultural knowledge and values into the curriculum to bolster students’ math and science achievement.
- Educators 4 Excellence, Inc. – $50,000 to support efforts to diversify teacher leadership at the union and school board level, and to advance teacher-led policy at the state level to create a more equitable and excellent education system.
- Greater Minneapolis Community Connections – $38,680 to facilitate conversations between parents who are not engaged through traditional models and decision-makers at the school level to understand how home and school intersect. The goal is to improve behavioral and academic outcomes for immigrant and refugee parents and students in the Lake Street corridor of Minneapolis.
- Groves Academy – $22,865 to partner with Jenny Lind Elementary School in Minneapolis to implement the Groves Literacy Framework in nine K-3 classrooms. Groves’ evidence-based partnership model includes ongoing professional development and collaboration with school staff and a curriculum that emphasizes systematic phonics instruction and proven strategies to enhance reading fluency and comprehension.
- Hiawatha Academies – $75,000 to amplify the voices of families and students of color, and to partner with the Racially Conscious Collaboration consulting group to implement culturally relevant instruction and pursue anti-racism strategies with staff across the school network.
- Hmong American Partnership – $75,000 for parent and community engagement related to the Hnub Tshiab program, which provides linguistically and culturally relevant academic assistance and support to families and educators at New Millennium Academy in Brooklyn Center.
- La Oportunidad – $25,000 for a Latinx youth leadership and career pathways program at Edison and Lincoln high schools.
- Legal Rights Center – $55,000 to engage teachers and administrators at Pillsbury Elementary, Northeast Middle, and Edison High schools in Northeast Minneapolis in restorative practices, trainings, and a cohort model designed to support school communities to holistically engage students and families and reduce discipline disparities.
- Minneapolis Public Schools – $75,000 to support Community Connected Academy, which offers juniors and seniors at Patrick Henry High School a project-based curriculum and internships based on their future goals. Patrick Henry’s principal, teachers, and staff will direct this funding to embed for-credit internships in the school day, increase the role of community partners and mentors in the high school, and pay Patrick Henry students a living wage for internships.
- Pillsbury United Communities – $75,000 to collaborate with Future Focused Education and partner schools to implement an equity framework and train school leaders and students on strategies to advocate for more inclusive state accountability and reporting systems.
- Project for Pride in Living – $50,000 to support youth at metro area partner schools to apply to expunge their juvenile records and advocate to eliminate barriers to accessing education, employment, and housing.
- Robbinsdale Area Schools – $62,250 to support equity practice teams for school leaders, teachers, and staff at each elementary, middle, and high school in the Robbinsdale Area School District.
- Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition (fiscal sponsor: Propel Nonprofits) – $40,000 to organize parents, students, and community members in Minneapolis to advocate for state and local policies that reduce the use of exclusionary discipline practices. The Coalition also promotes research-backed practices to improve behavior and foster positive relationships between young people and adults.
- Somali Parents of Minnesota – $50,000 to support the Bridge to Education pilot project, which will engage Edina Public Schools students through culturally appropriate home visiting, mentoring, and related strategies to boost attendance and academic achievement. Bridge to Education will also support Somali American parents in joining Parent Teacher Organizations and developing working relationships with teachers, administrators, and district staff.
- The New Teacher Project – $75,000 for the Teach Minnesota alternative teacher licensure pathway program (elementary and secondary).
- Thrive Ed – $75,000 for student-designed and -led Design2Thrive workshops on restorative practices and power-sharing for educators in Hopkins Public Schools and neighboring districts.
- Twin Cities Innovation Alliance – $50,000 to support the ERASE Collective, a coalition of the Midwest Center for School Transformation, the NAACP, Education for Liberation Minnesota, and other advocates, to deploy rapid-response teams that follow incidents of racialized harm in local schools. The ERASE Collective will also develop a rapid response protocol and toolkit to help schools, districts, and communities eliminate the conditions that create these incidents.
- Voices for Racial Justice – $50,000 to engage a cohort of Minneapolis and suburban parents through Education Equity Parent Fellowship trainings, and to support them in advocating for racial equity in local schools and districts.
- Youth Leadership Initiative – $40,000 for the Youth Equity Learning Cohort and workshops for K-12 education and youth development professionals in Minneapolis and the suburbs. The Youth Leadership Institute will support participants in examining their organization’s existing practices and provide technical assistance as they develop strategies to support young people through an equity lens.
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