About Foundation & Corporate Relations
Our goal is to connect a wide range of foundation and corporate funding opportunities both locally and nationally with the exciting and innovative work taking place across the Boston Public Schools. We do this by working closely with our foundation and corporate partners, learning about their specific philanthropic interests and developing strong relationships. We research specific funding initiatives and work with BPS teams and departments on developing proposals. We also provide technical assistance in all aspects of the grants research, writing, and reporting process, helping BPS staff develop key capacities.
For questions about Foundation & Corporate Relations please contact Firkins Reed at email@example.com
Barr Foundation, $300,000 for TechBoston Academy
BPS Lead: Jennifer Nicol (Director of Innovation, TBA Academy)
Awarded October 2017
Support from Barr Foundation will enable TechBoston Academy to begin a two-year planning process to enhance the school’s student-centered and hands-on approaches to teaching science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). TechBoston Academy, which serves students in grades 6-12, was one of 11 schools in New England to receive the funding. TechBoston will partner on the initiative with the STEAM Studio Foundation, the MIT Edgerton Center, the BPS Office of Innovation, and New Vista. The partnership allows TechBoston Academy, an open-enrollment, public pilot school serving nearly 1,000 students, to build on its innovative personalized-learning work. This will allow students to develop the skills necessary to access the economy of the future — in areas such as engineering, computational thinking, and biotechnology — with the support of MIT’s world-class resources.
The Baupost Group, for School Libraries
Awarded December 2017
The Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment management firm, awarded two one-time grants in support of school-based libraries. The John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science and the Dr. William B. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School each received generous grants after a competitive grants process that will enable them to transform their libraries into innovative learning hubs. Building on the Learning Commons model, the O’Bryant will purchase new technology stations that support students working in groups and individually and help teachers differentiate instruction. Movable furniture will facilitate flexibility in adapting the space for group learning. The Henderson – the district’s only K-12 inclusion school – will use funds to expand their book collection, improve available technology, and purchase furniture that makes the space user-friendly.
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, $10,000 for Catie’s Closet
BPS Lead: Brian Marques (Director, Opportunity Youth)
Awarded November 2017
Catie’s Closet serves more than 25,000 students in 37 schools in eight cities throughout eastern Massachusetts. The largely volunteer-run organization builds “stores” within schools and discreetly distributes new and gently used clothing, toiletries, shoes, and school supplies to homeless and low-income students in Pre-K through grade 12. Students shop discreetly at in-school sites, taking what they need. This year, Catie’s Closet expanded into the Boston Public Schools for the first time, serving six schools and opening a local distribution center. Working closely with the district, Catie’s Closet will continue expansion to high-need schools.
Liberty Mutual Foundation, $100,000 for Reading Recovery
BPS Lead: Kelly McDermott (Director, Reading Recovery)
Awarded August 2017
Reading Recovery is an innovative and effective short-term literacy intervention for the youngest learners. The goal is to dramatically reduce the number of first-grade students experiencing extreme difficulty learning to read and write - and to reduce the ongoing costs of these learners. Intensive one-on-one instruction with trained instructors produces remarkable results: over 75% of students are brought up to grade level after interventions of 12 to 20 weeks. Funding for two years will support 30 Reading Recovery teachers working with 180 students annually at 18 BPS schools.
Liberty Mutual Foundation, $50,000 for Becoming A Man
Awarded December 2017
Becoming A Man (BAM) is an exciting intervention program that has achieved nationwide attention for its success working with at-risk young men in Chicago. After an in-depth selection process, Boston became the first city to which BAM has replicated, launching in September 2017 by serving 150 boys at four BPS high schools – the John O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science, English High School, Jeremiah Burke High School, and Dearborn STEM Academy. Over the next four years, BAM Boston will expand to serve 450 youth in nine schools.
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
$275,000 for Teacher Leadership & Professional Learning
BPS Leads: Paul Tritter (Director of Professional Learning, Boston Teachers Union) & Shakera Walker (Director of Teacher Development, BPS)
Awarded December 2017
Funding from Nellie Mae will help Boston Public Schools with its goal of improving and personalizing professional learning, by empowering teachers and bringing their voices and experience to district level decision-making. Over 18 months, this project will pilot a new context-informed process of needs assessment coordinated by the “Networker,” an innovative new teacher leadership role. S/he will connect approximately 200 district teachers with shared learning interests through a series of innovative, job-embedded, teacher-led professional learning models. Working with others, the Networker will cultivate and curate best practices aligned to the “Essentials for Instructional Equity,” BPS’ vision for coherent student-centered learning.
Nellie Mae Education Foundation, $275,000 for Innovation Incubator
BPS Lead: Sujata Bhatt (Managing Partner, Office of Innovation)
Awarded December 2017
BPS Office of Innovation will design the BPS Innovation Incubator, a personalized process for school teams to grow competence in redesigning teaching and learning environments to be more student-centered. The Incubator will be an iterative process that develops screening tools, innovation competencies, self-reflection rubrics, quantitative and qualitative data-gathering methods, and ways for learning to feed back into the district as a whole. As part of the process, BPS will partner with nationally renowned School Retool to provide cohort- and school-team based professional development fellowships that grow innovation and collaborative leadership capacities. Over 18 months, the Incubator will support three cohorts of BPS school teams, reaching a total of 60+ educators at approximately 20 BPS schools.