The events of the past year have shown us just how broken our sense of “normal” is.
So many of our children were without access to learning, families were without healthcare, and many came to know that their lives were less important than another’s because of the color of their skin.
Nearly a year ago today, Outschool realized that those who had the highest need wouldn’t be able to afford access.
In that understanding, Outschool.org was born.
Outschool.org is here to provide every kid the opportunity to fall in love with learning.
What Have We Accomplished Together?
On March 12 2020, we started our family financial assistance program to provide assistance to learners and their guardians. Since then, we’ve provided over $2M in classes to low-income learners across the United States.
This has allowed us to support 110,000 hours of free trumpet playing, math learning, and photograph-taking for 26,000 kids who might’ve otherwise spent that time losing their love of learning rather than pursuing it.
We made a commitment to focus our work on the advancement of Black and LatinX communities. It became clear that Outschool.org’s commitment to access necessitated that we work to advance families and changes to the system as a whole. For most of the past year, we’ve focused on identifying how our work can support solutions to systemic inequity through the lens of access, equity and coherence.
As part of this, we pledged $2.5M to organizations across the country who are leading the charge to address educational inequity in their communities.
Partners like Campus Without Walls are pioneering models to use virtual learning to decolonize education. While others like the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta have been using grant funds to provide critical in-person learning services.
(Read more about our partners here.)
What's next for Outschool.org?
In the face of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected the physical and economic health of Black and LatinX people, learning loss will also weigh the most heavily on these communities.
The existing crisis of learning loss will only continue to escalate in severity. As a result, Outschool.org will be laser-focused on accelerating learning and supporting the organizations that share this commitment.
We believe that inspiring kids to love learning will allow them to engage more deeply and profoundly than before. The unique opportunity of Outschool is the ability to bring 12,000 educators to work alongside the teachers and organizations across the country.
Our work will address losses in core learning areas and inspire learners with classes from experts in fields like music, art and dance — that many couldn't access pre-Covid.
In Partnership We Move Forward
Through our work with partners this year, we’ve gotten the opportunity to engage deeply with the challenges of access, technology and family involvement. We’ve seen firsthand the power of collaboration between family, community organizations, teachers and schools.
As we move into Outschool.org’s second year, we’ll work to support and champion these models towards the creation of a “new normal” that puts the most marginalized learners and their communities first.
Our first commitment will always be to stand for all learners. As a new organization in a still unprecedented time, our chief goal is to listen deeply to our partners in this work to understand how we can shift the levers of our privilege to advance their work, their learners, and our shared commitment to a new system.
We thank those, including over 10,000 Outschool users, who have made generous contributions to support our work and look forward to all that another year will bring.