We strive to support children through their entire education journey, across all of the places where they live, learn, and play. We complement the Gates Foundation’s national K-12 and postsecondary strategies, building networks across in-school and out-of-school supports for each student’s social, emotional, academic, and developmental needs. Our partnerships center on early math and social-emotional learning, with an emphasis on reducing inequities and expanding opportunities for students of color, students living in poverty, and all students in Washington.
A great education system benefits all students, and to encourage a more equitable system, we focus attention and resources where they are needed most—with Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, immigrant, first-generation, and low-income students. Across all our grantmaking and partnerships, we are taking steps to use racial equity principles and practices in our operations, strategy development, and investment approaches.
Kindergarten Through College
We are building equitable partnerships between families, schools, and communities to support all students in Washington State. This includes:
- Understanding the cultural context of each school
- More confident instruction early in math
- Tools for social-emotional learning and trauma-sensitive approaches
- Stable housing for students and families
- Afterschool and summer opportunities
- Bringing together parents, teachers, principals, and community organizations to share the knowledge and habits that reinforce skills, abilities, and confidence wherever children live, learn, and play
Student success depends not only on access to good schools and good teaching—whether at traditional public schools or charter public schools—but also on state and local policies that design and enable our educational systems. We support policies that enable a more supportive and more equitable learning environment from pre-K through college, including full funding, accountability, high standards, assessments, better data, public charter school options, housing stability, trauma-sensitive approaches, after-school and summer opportunities, the involvement of parents and community organizations, and improved financial aid.
The Road Map Project
Many of our investments are focused on a collective effort in South Seattle and South King County. This “Road Map Region” is home to seven school districts educating over 127,000 students—and over half of those students are living in poverty. The region is one of the most diverse in the nation, with over 180 different languages spoken.
Our investments in the Road Map Project started in 2010 with a simple idea: no single program, organization, or institution can bring about large-scale social change on their own. To get better results for students, we invest in partners who are coordinating activities across the many people and organizations that work with children, engaging parents and communities to support all students, using data to encourage continuous improvement, and building a better system from cradle to college. We believe that this is a place where our investments can make a big difference for the students who need it most.