Outschool.org expands work to support every learner, awards $2.5M in grants

Outschool.org Nov 30, 2020

At Outschool, imaginations run free and kids are given the power to learn in a way that connects to their interests and passions. While we’ve always worked to build an affordable and inclusive marketplace for all, we know that economic and digital divides prevent many from having the opportunity to fall in love with learning with or without Outschool.

With the mission to inspire all kids to fall in love with learning, we launched Outschool.org in March. When we started this journey, our hope was to provide incremental relief to the hundreds of thousands of parents, guardians and kids facing unprecedented interruptions to their learning.

Today, we’re more committed to this mission than ever and are excited to announce that we’ve added 22 new partners in our work to empower kids and their communities with the power of learning. We’ve also released a new feature to involve our entire community in supporting the work of helping every kid fall in love with learning. You can now add a donation to your class purchase at check out.

Who we serve

As Outschool.org’s Executive Director, it has been my immense privilege to bring Outschool classes to families during a year that has deeply exacerbated existing barriers to access. Since launching in March, we’ve provided over 20,000 kids, from all 50 states, with nearly 86,000 hours of free learning through our scholarships.

Today, low-income families can register for up to $300 in scholarships through Outschool.org and access the entire library of more than 100,000 classes while using free tools like Class Planner to help pick the classes kids will love.

These scholarships have reached parents like Tara from Layton, Utah, who was able to open new doors for her children through our platform. She shared that seeing people from all over the country was an opportunity she’d never previously experienced online.

Another family shared:

I feel like Outschool.org saved us this spring, and will be this coming year, too... The free classes for those who needed them kept us going, and kept us from falling into deep depression.

Kids have been and always will be at the heart of our work at Outschool.org, which is why we started by providing assistance directly to their families and guardians. However, in a moment when the very institutions and organizations who have supported the most under-resourced for generations are being challenged to meet unprecedented need with minimal resources — we know that to serve these learners, we too need to serve their communities.

Announcing 22 organizations receiving Community Partner & Learning Center grants

In August, we announced that we’d expand Outschool.org’s grant-making to serve community organizations, nonprofits, schools, and districts. Through our Community Partner grants we’ve committed to providing at least $1.5M in Outschool classes to these partners in their efforts to bolster the resources they can make available to their communities.

And while access to Outschool can be life changing, we know it’s not enough. That’s why we launched our Learning Center grant, with $1M in grants available to provide access to in-person learning resources such as technology, food and social services to those with the highest need.

At the conclusion of our process, we received 113 applications for over $22M. We sincerely thank every organization for the thought and care they put into the application process. While every application had tremendous merit and potential to serve their community, we’re thrilled to announce the 22 partners we thought had the most potential to catalyze the learning of low-income, Black and LatinX learners across the country. These are:

Community Partners:

  • Azusa Unified School District, CA
  • Charleston County School District, SC
  • Newport School District, KY
  • Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, NJ
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas, TX
  • BUILD.Org
  • Citizen Schools, MA
  • Hands-In Learning Co-op, NY
  • ReGeneration Schools, IL
  • The Oakland REACH, CA
  • Unreasonable Kids, VA

Learning Partners

  • Riverside Unified School District
  • Ysleta Independent School District
  • Boys & Girls Aid
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
  • BUILD.Org
  • Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
  • New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation
  • Youth Life Foundation of Richmond
  • Taos Education Collaborative
  • Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
  • Young Art

As we all work to weather the next few months of an unprecedented chapter in the lives of our children, Outschool will partner with the organizations to help meet the immediate needs posed by the pandemic while helping to unlock doors that, unfortunately, have always been closed to many.

When we enable kids to learn, we give them the power to change their families, community and the world for the better.

How You Can Help

Through our grants process, we witnessed firsthand the need and commitment of communities all across the country to support their kids with access to Outschool. While we were only able to fill a small portion of the need and demand, we’re working to raise $6M more to support families and communities through the coming school year.

To help us unlock new doors, we’ve rolled out a new feature at check out on Outschool.com. You can now donate to Outschool.org when you purchase classes for your kids or make a gift today that will enable all learners to do just that, learn. One hundred percent of every donation made goes directly to supporting learners through Outschool.org. Even the smallest amounts add up and change lives.

You can now donate to Outschool.org when enrolling in Outschool classes.

For more information on how Outschool.org is actively providing critical support to communities and families, please visit Outschool.org.

Justin Dent

Justin is the Executive Director of Outschool.org