Closing the achievement gap is a critical focus of our work. We believe that all students, regardless of their background or circumstances, can achieve at a high level. That’s why we support initiatives that address the systemic barriers hindering student success. By improving the quality of instruction, we aim to provide students with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive.
One of our key areas of emphasis is mastering the foundational early literacy skills. We recognize that literacy is the cornerstone of a child’s educational journey. Through our initiatives, we strive to ensure that children develop strong reading skills from an early age. We are dedicated to leaning into the science of reading, a research-based approach that focuses on understanding how children learn to read and applying evidence-based practices to improve reading instruction.
The Science of Reading has gained significant recognition as an effective educational style that has the potential to revolutionize how we teach reading. It emphasizes the importance of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—the essential components of reading proficiency. By incorporating these evidence-based practices, we can transform the way reading is taught, leading to improved outcomes for students.
By harnessing the power of technology, we can create engaging and interactive learning environments that inspire students to reach their full potential. From digital learning platforms to educational apps and multimedia resources, we leverage technology as a tool to enhance instruction and engage students in meaningful ways. By integrating technology into classrooms, we can adapt teaching methods to suit diverse learning styles and prepare students for the digital age.
Furthermore, we understand that a holistic approach to education goes beyond financial support. Collaboration and partnership are key to making schools work. We actively engage with our grantees, providing not just financial assistance for facilities and school supplies, but also fostering a culture of collaboration. By working together with educators, administrators, and community stakeholders, we aim to create a thriving ecosystem that supports student achievement and teacher well-being.
In addition to supporting schools, we also recognize the importance of reworking how we teach and addressing the work-life balance of teachers. Many of our grantees are passionate about finding innovative solutions to these challenges. Through our funding, we empower educators to explore new approaches, seek work-life balance, and ultimately create a nurturing environment where both students and teachers can flourish.
Through our initiatives, we aim to achieve the following intended results:
- From preschool through postsecondary, achievement gaps close dramatically: We strive to bridge the gaps in educational outcomes and opportunities among students. By addressing systemic barriers and focusing on evidence-based practices, we aim to significantly reduce achievement gaps from early childhood education through higher education. We believe that every student, regardless of their background, should have an equal opportunity to succeed academically.
- Public systems better serve residents by being aligned, high-quality, and accountable: We advocate for the improvement of public education systems, ensuring that they are responsive to the needs of Memphis residents. We work with educational institutions and stakeholders to promote alignment, high-quality instruction, and accountability. By fostering collaboration and encouraging innovative approaches, we aim to create a public education system that effectively serves all members of the community.
- All Memphians have the opportunity and tools to complete a postsecondary program that helps them earn a family-sustaining wage and grow in the workforce: We believe that postsecondary education is crucial for economic mobility and long-term success. Our initiatives focus on providing Memphians with the necessary resources and support to pursue and complete postsecondary programs. By equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge needed for family-sustaining careers, we empower them to contribute to the growth and prosperity of our community.
- Pipeline talent consistently meets employer needs across all sectors: We recognize the importance of aligning education with the workforce demands of Memphis. Our initiatives aim to strengthen the talent pipeline by working closely with employers, educational institutions, and training providers. By understanding industry needs and promoting relevant educational programs, we ensure that students and job seekers are equipped with the skills and qualifications that meet the demands of the job market.