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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global philanthropy, but our roots are in the Pacific Northwest, where the Gates family has lived for generations. Here at home, we invest in improving education from preschool through college, preventing family homelessness, and strengthening community engagement, in order to ensure that every child has a chance to reach their full potential, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or family income.

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Teacher Tech Project

Ask-A-Teacher Help Desks and Resource Guides for the top 5 learning platforms, plus instructional modules to help teachers take their in-person practices online. By Washington teachers, for Washington teachers.

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Washington Census Equity Fund

The foundation is providing $750,000 to support 77 grantees across 83 grants, working in 36 of Washington’s 39 counties to reach historically hard-to-count communities.

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October 2022 Newsletter: Finding joy in math

As a kid growing up, two subjects drew my interest above all others: English and microbiology. Yes, I recognize those are very different subjects, but I was as fascinated by how words came to life on pages as I was about all the living organisms that we couldn’t see in this world.

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Inter-connected Innovation

The foundation is capping off its final year of funding for the Renton Innovation Zone, led by the Renton School District and Community Center for Education Results. Learn more about this community-designed and community-driven model.

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Supporting Local Organizations that Engage and Amplify Latino Community Voices

A diverse range of organizations in Washington state work every day to engage Latino communities and amplify their voices. We partner with many of these organizations through our education work in Washington state, because we believe a great education is essential to turning young people’s potential into success – and Latino students still face too many barriers as they pursue their education and career goals.

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September 2022: Why are young people skipping college?

You might have read a story or two lately about college enrollment dips across the country. That’s certainly true over the last few years in Washington state. Recent reports from the National Student Clearinghouse indicate that postsecondary enrollment, which includes community, trade, and four-year colleges, decreased 16.9% in Washington between Fall 2019 and Fall 2021. Meanwhile, the national decline was 5.1%.

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July 2022 Newsletter: Reflecting on our region’s COVID response

Back in early 2020 (which feels like a decade ago in pandemic years), it was becoming clear that COVID-19 would hit close to home. Given that the first case of COVID-19 in the United States was in Kirkland, we could feel the storm coming. We couldn’t sit on the sidelines, which is why our co-chairs, Bill and Melinda, didn’t hesitate to approve funding to help our neighbors in Washington state.

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June 2022 Newsletter: The many pathways after high school

Congratulations to the Class of 2022! In a world that needs fresh perspective and innovation, I am excited to see this class launch into the next phase of their journey. May we not require perfection of them, but rather support them in reaching their goals and helping their communities to thrive.

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June 2022 Newsletter: Yakima students highlight the power of teachers

I am writing this note with a heavy heart after last week’s senseless shooting in Uvalde, Texas. As both a mother and former teacher, my heart aches for the families and community that lost too many precious souls too soon. On top of everything else teachers are doing to close out the school year, they continue to be faced with the crushing burden of trying to keep their students safe.

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April 2022 Newsletter: Hitting the Road to Learn

What wild spring weather we had recently in Washington state! I’m glad my team and I hit the road to meet some of our grantees and their partners in March, before the snow returned. One of the things I value most in my professional life is the ability to constantly learn and grow. My heart and perspective are both stronger when I can hear from community partners and the teachers, students, and families they serve.

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