What’s keeping districts from spending COVID relief funding?

2020 and 2021 saw $190 billion in federal relief funds go to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).

But why aren’t schools spending the money? The answer–or, more accurately, answers–offers a glimpse into the complicated state of post-COVID education.

Districts received funds based on their Title I funding, and ESSER funds must be spent by September 2024. While many districts have planned how they’ll use their funding, they have not actually spent it to date.…Read More

“Biodegradable sanitary pad made out of dragon fruit peels designed by a team of Vientamese girls wins USD 100,000 in The Earth Prize 2022 competition!”

On Friday, March 25th, The Earth Foundation held a fully virtual event, The Earth Prize 2022 Awards Ceremony, to announce the winner and runners-up of the USD 200,000 environmental sustainability competition for teenagers. Team Adorbsies, made up of three young women – Quynh Anh (Dorothy), Uyen and Huyen, from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam – was proclaimed as the victorious recipient of the USD 100,000 grand prize that comes with The Earth Prize 2022 Winner title. The prize money will be split evenly between the team members and the educational program with which they registered for the competition, Summit Education.

The winning idea is the “Adorbsy” biodegradable menstrual pad. As the students explained in their submission, due to a drop in dragon fruit sales caused by the Covid pandemic, Vietnam was suddenly forced to deal with considerable amounts of unsold fruit, with an initial plan of simply burning it. The students had already been thinking of a project linked to making more eco-friendly menstrual pads – as they were virtually non-existent in the Vietnamese market – when Uyen learned about the absorbent properties of dragon fruit. This planted the seed for their Earth Prize project submission.

“This was a very difficult choice for The Earth Prize Adjudicating Panel to make; but Team Adorbsies’ project is an idea turned into a solution that can make a genuine difference”, said Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, Chair of the Panel.…Read More

Financial Literacy Challenge from Jackson Charitable Foundation and Discovery Education Empowering Communities to Win $10,000 for Their Schools Now Open

Silver Spring, Md. (Monday, March 14, 2022) – Jackson Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to advance financial knowledge on a national scale, and Discovery Education today opened the 6th annual Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest. The contest enables communities to vote for their school to win $10,000 that can be used for critical educator resources that teach kids how to earn, save, spend, and donate.   

This national contest encourages elementary school teachers, families, and community members to show their commitment to financial education by voting online daily for their school to receive a prize package featuring: 

  • A grant of $10,000 to build a brighter financial future at the winning school.  
  • $1,000 to be donated to the charity of the school’s choice. 
  • An interactive, hands-on, educational financial literacy event hosted by Discovery Education that brings to life Cha-Ching’s four pillars of financial education – earn, save, spend, and donate. 

Participants may enter up to once a day on behalf of their school from now through June 17, 2022. Learn more and vote for your school.  …Read More

Sora App’s New Curated Bundles of Digital Comics Save Schools Time and Money

CLEVELAND – March 14, 2022 – In response to educators’ need for more digital content to engage students, OverDrive Education now offers popular digital comic books to schools around the world via the Sora student reading app. Schools can purchase age-appropriate and cost-effective curated bundles totaling more than 1,500 digital comic books. These titles include simultaneous use rights so all students can access titles for their age group instantly. Sora is the leading student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.

An award-winning app known for assigned and choice reading of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines, Sora also provides a simple user experience for students to browse and read comics, even on phones. The “All Access Comics” bundles are grouped into three age ranges and contain the most popular titles for schools, including Avatar The Last Airbender, They Called Us Enemy, My Little Pony, Plants vs. Zombies, Samurai Jack, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Astro Boy, Hellboy, and Skyward. See the full lists of titles.

All Access Comics in Sora bundles also include Marvel titles that are not currently available in any other simultaneous use digital model for schools, such as brands or characters like Avengers, Spider-Man, Eternals, Star Wars, Hulk, X-Men, Thor and Venom.…Read More

For COVID catch-up, don’t remediate–accelerate

One of the biggest changes educators will see in 2022 is the shift to accelerated learning. Educators have been experimenting with accelerated learning for some time, but in the last year or so, as districts looked for new strategies to address pandemic-related learning losses, organizations like The New Teacher Project have released reports on the effectiveness of the approach.

The phrase got picked up by the United States Department of Education and used in much of the department’s materials related to ESSER funds and stimulus money flowing to schools to address learning disruptions. As a result, if you look at almost any state’s recovery plan, you’ll find the phrase “accelerated learning.”

And for good reason, too. It’s an elegantly simple change, it appears to be quite effective, and it’s a perfect fit for the particular challenge we find ourselves in as we try to bring students back up to speed after a couple of difficult years.

What is accelerated learning?…Read More

ClassTag Launches ClassTag Goods to Eliminate Needless Teacher Out-of-Pocket Spending

NEW YORK, NY, August 12, 2021: ClassTag, the leading parent-teacher engagement platform, today announced the launch of ClassTag Goods, a free community-driven solution for teachers to receive much needed contributions for their classrooms. 

Historically, teachers have had to spend their own money to fund their classroom’s supplies, with the average teacher spending $495 a year out-of-pocket. With ClassTag Goods, teachers can now set up their own Classroom Fund which will enable parents and guardians to donate directly to their classroom on a recurring basis. All funds go directly to the teachers (without any hidden transaction or processing fees) who can then redeem supplies from ClassTag’s robust catalogue of Goods. 

“Existing fundraising solutions for teachers have failed to offer the level of flexibility ClassTag Goods provides,” said Vlada Lotkina, CEO and Co-founder of ClassTag. “Before, teachers were beholden to creating finite fundraising projects that, if not reached, meant they would not receive any of the funds donated. With ClassTag Goods, the goal is to finally put an end to this ridiculous idea that teachers should have to spend their own money on classroom supplies once and for all.” …Read More