AF Coalition Members Step up During Crisis (Vol. 17)

Every week, America Forward is highlighting a few examples of the vital work being done by our Coalition members to support students, families, educators, workers, elected leaders, advocates, and communities across the country. If your organization has resources, an announcement, or a story that you would like to see included, please send it to


UnboundEd understands that “change starts with education.” As calls for racial justice and equity continue to converge with a pandemic that is pushing learning online, UnboundEd is offering a solution: Disrupting Inequity: Having Brave Conversations About Bias is a toolkit for “facilitated conversations about race, bias and prejudice so we can listen, lead and teach towards equity,” and is available online and free to download for students, educators, and school communities to incorporate into virtual education plans this fall.

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)

As NFP quickly adjusted to the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – transitioning services from in-person to virtual – they noticed gaps in their clients’ access to technology that created barriers to care: a network-wide survey estimated that “up to 10 percent of moms lacked access to a telephone, representing nearly 3,800 expectant and new moms.” To close these gaps and make sure their community continues to receive vital care from and connection to their nurses, NFP partnered with Verizon and Action Technologies Group to distribute phones to their moms. So far, they’ve given out more than 3,200 phones across 39 states.

Springboard Collaborative

As schools across the country prepare for a fall of remote learning, Springboard Collaborative has open-sourced their Family-Educator Learning Accelerator (FELA), which is designed to support learning at home. FELA engages both teachers and parents to help students achieve educational goals, and is especially impactful now, as classrooms stay closed, and students and schools work to overcome learning loss caused by COVID-1 Not only is it readily available online, it’s also a proven approach: Springboard recently partnered with Teach for America (TFA) to offer free virtual literacy support to kids and families over the summer, engaging TFA’s entire 2020 cohort of 2,869 corps members, who then coached 4,558 students and families from 667 participating schools. They found that “families averaged 26+ daily minutes of reading at home,” creating “substantial positive gains in reading achievement.”


In June, uAspire released Beyond the College Bill: The Hidden Hurdles of Indirect Expenses, which “examines how colleges calculate and communicate indirect expenses, how students struggle to understand and afford them, and the impact on students,” and offers corresponding policy recommendations. The report has been featured in The New York Times, and the Office of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) sponsored a briefing on the report and its recommendations. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to cause financial strain on students and institutes of higher education alike, this report is especially timely and relevant.


School and workforce leaders are gearing up for a fall of continued social distancing, as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a critical safety concern, and ImBlaze is ready to support their community no matter what the upcoming school year looks like. ImBlaze recently announced ImBlaze 2.0, updated programming that now supports both virtual and in-person internships, to ensure students don’t miss out on transformative opportunities, to diversify remote learning options, and to meet the needs of this moment.

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