Equity in Education
Every child should have the educational resources to become a successful adult. Based on our belief that education is the best road out of poverty, the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation supports a strong education pipeline to help children from birth to age 19 build the skills they need to be successful adults.
As our state continues to struggle with underperforming schools, particularly in urban areas and in the Black Belt, it is critical that we support new and innovative approaches to providing high-quality alternatives for children of color and those coming from struggling communities. These approaches must be research-based and proven to move children forward.
Support for K-12 education that increases student achievement is a priority for the Foundation.
A growing sector in providing high -quality educational opportunities is Alabama’s nascent public charter school sector. The Foundation supports the development of that sector through planning grants for new schools and through support of technical assistance providers like New Schools for Alabama.
The Foundation has identified several key outcomes that guide its grantmaking in public education:
- More children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
- More children progress through elementary school on grade level for reading, math, and science.
- More youth transition successfully from 8th grade to 9th grade.
- More young people graduate from high school with an identified path forward to college or career goals .
- High School graduates demonstrate increased economic mobility.
I3 Academy Charter School
Opened in August, 2020 with 420 students, this K-5 public charter school is located in the Woodlawn neighborhood. It combines a strong academic program with enrichment offerings in art, foreign language, music and a maker-space. On-site wraparound services for children and families help children reach their full potential. I3 will add a 6th grade class in August, 2021, and expand to serve 520 students. For more information, visit www.i3academy.org.
Jones Valley Teaching Farm
Operating 7 teaching farms within the city of Birmingham, Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) creates opportunities for academic exploration, environmental stewardship, personal growth and leadership, and pathways to employment. Their new Center for Food Education will open in fall, 2021. For more information, visit www.jvtf.org.
College Choice Foundation
College Choice Foundation provides counseling and support to Birmingham City and Homewood High School Students. Their services include but are not limited to 1) ACT/SAT test prep and help with test fees; 2) college campus visits; 3) application and financial aid completion; 4) college essay writing support. College Choice also offers mentoring and assistance to their college students to help them finish successfully, fulfilling their mission of ensuring that college students successfully graduate from college with a minimum of college loan debt. For more information, visit www.collegechoicefoundation.org.
Build Urban Prosperity
Build UP offers high school students paid work-force development opportunities to learn residential construction and remodeling skills while earning a quality high school diploma and post-secondary degree or credential. Program graduates have the opportunity to own these rehabbed homes in their local community, fast tracking them to self-sufficient living and collective community revitalization. For more information, visit www.buildup.work. (Build UP photography by Caleb Chancey.)