Equitable Education Fund Program Grant Recipients

Fall 2021 Grant Cycle

Through our Fall 2021 grant cycle, we reached nearly 5,100 students in 7 traditionally underserved communities across the US. Grants were made at all educational levels with grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

Read more about the inspiring work of the selected educators below:

Literacy to Liberation
Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL

This grant will support three programs: 1) Early Literacy Interventionists for students identified as needing additional support to reach grade level reading proficiency, 2) strengthen anti-racist, culturally sustaining classroom literacy instruction, and 3) develop instructional leadership in support of effective, anti-racist, culturally sustaining early literacy instruction.

Social Emotional Regulation and Wellness Rooms
Copperview Elementary, Midvale, UT

The grant create two sensory rooms in each school appropriate for emotional regulation and skill building.  Sensory rooms are focused on providing the best sensory input for specific needs. By using a variety of therapeutic equipment, kids learn to self-regulate their behaviors and ultimately improve their focus. The action/movement room is used for students seeking sensory input, kids who are under-aroused and crave more stimulation. The calming room is used for students who are avoiding sensory input, kids who are easily over-stimulated and need a break from sensory stimulation.

When We Know Better, We Must Do Better
Garfield Preparatory Academy, Washington D.C.

This grant will fund school-wide improvements focused on foundational literacy skills in our PreK-5th instructional practices by investing in teacher education and support materials such as literacy program curriculum that focuses on phonological awareness and decodable texts for students.

Pathways to Biotech for Girls of Color
Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA), Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles is becoming a national hub for Bioscience, generating more than 200,000 jobs and over $43 Billion in economic activity. Yet, Black and Latinx middle and high school students lack awareness and exposure to these growing career opportunities. This two-week summer program will reengage students and create a pipeline for women of color for the biotech industry.

Building and Strengthening a Social Emotional Trauma Responsive School
Las Americas Newcomer School, Houston, TX

LANS provides individualized therapeutic case management for students and families to advocate for and eliminate barriers to basic needs and services. SEL integration at LANS is pioneering the use of nontraditional therapeutic interventions inside and outside of the classroom such as unique, brief, evidence-based therapeutic interventions and classroom supports have been employed; including calm down spaces, sensory stimulation, animal-assisted therapy with a therapy rabbit, and horticulture therapy in the Trauma-Informed Sensory Butterfly Garden.

All that Glitters
Kepner Beacon Middle School, Denver, CO

This project will fund the initial build out of the jewelry and small metals program at Kepner Beacon Middle School. It will offer students access to career and technical education in this field and will directly connect to trade skills and High School programs in the area. It will also serve as an additional outlet for creative expression and self-exploration for our students. The program curriculum will be written and delivered by the Visual Art teacher, Amy Sawchak, along with guest artist industry professionals with a specific goal of bringing in local BIPOC artists in the field.

Social Emotional Wellness
Para Los Niños Family of Charter Schools, Los Angeles, CA

Para Los Niños has adopted a Strength-Based Resiliency approach, which recognizes that each of us has a combination of risk factors that shape our development. The Student Support Services (SSS) Program reduces obstacles for students who are seeking help. SSS plans are rooted in and will extend PLN’s ongoing efforts to establish a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS).

The Tiger Closet
President William McKinley High School, Honolulu, HI

The Tiger Closet is a place where you can prepare for school, like all other students do every morning.  We provide brand new shoes, clothing, accessories, feminine hygiene products, other hygiene products, and school supplies.  Students receive "tiger bucks" from counselors, teachers, administrators if they are not able to provide for themselves, if they have good attendance, and are well behaved. Students can bring their tiger bucks with them to the Tiger Closet during open hours and shop.

Pilot Program Results 2020-2021

Thank you to everyone who participated in our inaugural grants program. The pilot program saw 35 applications from educators across the country. The 22 funded proposals are listed below, and represent a true depth of innovation in the educational system.

Through the pilot program, we reached nearly 11,00 students in 13 traditionally underserved communities across the US. Grants were made at all educational levels, including 5 to Elementary Schools, 4 to Middle Schools, 7 to High Schools, and 6 to schools offering multiple levels of instruction. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $32,000.

Read more about the inspiring work of the selected educators below:

Bridging Gaps through Food
Bay View High School, Milwaukee

Bay View High School provides a comprehensive 9 -12 grade education focused on Art, Design, & Engineering. This grant allows students enrolled in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism and the Academy of Engineering to collaborate on the design, build, and operation of a food truck. The project also aims to help build greater ties between the students and the greater Milwaukee community, and provide paid internships for students.

Quaranteam Project
Business of Sports School, New York

This innovative program serves the 20% of the school's population who are displaced from their homes or reside in transitional housing. In an attempt to reduce chronic absenteeism, this grant allows for the implementation of a "Family Wash Program" that provides laundry facilities to school families.

Robotics Program
Cathedral High School, Los Angeles

Grant allows expansion of Cathedral High School's already established Robotics Program, a hands-on environment where students express their creativity and learn as a team to evaluate issues and develop solutions. The school's Robotics I and II courses and supplemental Robotics Club are preparing Cathedral students for high-demand careers in STEM and tech.

Closing the Gap for Vulnerable Readers
Citizens of the World Academy, Los Angeles

The mission of Citizens of the World Academy is to provide a socio-economically, culturally, and racially diverse community of students in the heart of Los Angeles with an intellectually challenging, experiential learning environment that develops each individual student’s confidence, potential, and individual responsibility as citizens of the world. This grant is aimed at solving inequities in literacy, creating a program that identifies reading vulnerabilities sooner and implements comprehensive, high-touch interventions to strengthen those skills.

Army of Tutors
Gabriella Charter School, Los Angeles

In a school community full of many frontline workers and a high percentage of English Language learners, Gabriella Charter School sough to address COVID-related learning caps in student literacy and math skills with an "Army of Tutors." Conceptualized by a team from the UCLA School of Education, the program capitalized on the school's newly-improved digital access.

Empower & Liberate through Literacy
Garfield Prep, Washington, D.C.

Grant supports expanded resources and training for the school-wide improvements to foundational literacy curriculum, including adoption of Really Great Reading, Heggerty curriculum, and a Tools4Reading Sound Wall.

COVID-19 Related Learning Loss for English Learners
James Madison Elementary, Los Angeles

When COVID-19 forced schools to close last March and students, teachers, and families to adapt to distance learning, low-income students and English learners were especially impacted. This grant allowed the school to provide individualized and small-group bilingual academic instruction and social-emotional support for students identified at the highest academic risk due to the pandemic.

Restorative Justice Collaborative
KIPP SoCal, Los Angeles

A charter school organization committed to disrupting educational inequities, KIPP SoCal obtained a grant to implement a Restorative Justice Collaborative in its K-8 program. This transformative, child- and community-centered education framework builds a culture that promotes stronger communication, healthier relationships (student-to-student, student-to-adult, and adult-to-adult), and where no one is disposable so that conflict is healed in equitable and just ways.

Virtual Bilingual Reader's Theater
Los Angeles Leadership Academy, Los Angeles

This grant will allow LA Leadership Academy to implement a virtual Reader's Theater, a research-based approach to developing reading fluency. By integrating art and music, the project blends students' desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice, increasing both English and Spanish proficiency in the process.

Extended Blended Learning Pilot
Mott Hall Charter School, New York

Mott Hall is a small, independent charter school serving grades 6 through 8 in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district in the US. This grant enabled the launch of an Extended Blended Learning pilot program, including professional development, family support, technology, and a robust social and emotional health program.

Equitable Achievement Opportunities
Newark Boys Chorus School, New Jersey

Newark Boys Chorus School is the only urban, independent, tuition-free, boys chorus school in the US, and provides rigorous academic and musical education to disadvantaged young men from the greater Newark area in grades 4 - 8. This grant provided for both hardware and curriculum tools to enable learning in a virtual environment, and the expansion of the school's STEAM program.

Meeting Student Needs Through Excellent Instructional Leadership
People for People Charter School, Philadelphia, K-12

While class size, district funding, and family involvement are all factors in a student’s development, research has repeatedly shown that teacher effectiveness is the most important in-school determinant of student achievement. This grant allowed People for People Charter School to partner with Jounce Partners to deliver customized training to leadership teams and teachers on new teaching models and instructional support structures.

Rhodes School for Performing Arts, Houston

The Rhodes School of Performing Arts received an EEF grant to implement a STEM and Coding program, to provide another platform for their scholars to be successful citizens in the community. The creation of the Rhodes School STEM lab consists of hands-on materials and exploration stations that expose students to new skills and potentially translate into high-interest STEM careers.

Playbook Improvisational Jazz Program
Rudecinda Sepulveda Dodson Middle School, Los Angeles

In the wake of COVID-19, as part of LAUSD’s mandate, Dodson Middle School's student music program was forced to only meet virtually. Students missed out on the effects that music has on the social and emotional well-being as well as the ability to express themselves through art. This grant allowed for the implementation of the PLAYBOOK online program to invigorate the music program, and keep their talented young people engaged in learning even from a distance.

Horizons Summer School Program
San Francisco Friends School, San Francisco, K-8

Transformational summer learning program for underserved K-8 public school students from San Francisco’s Mission District, where lack of access to summer programming for low-income families is regularly cited as a major obstacle by local educators. Horizons focuses on delivering the three key elements of programming: academics, enrichments, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) through community.

Technology-Rich Instruction
St. Malachy School, Chicago, K-8

Across subject areas, St. Malachy School relies on standards aligned, research-based curriculum and approaches that develop 21st century skills to prepare students to excel in high school and beyond. The school also recognizes its role in bridging the digital divide for students. This grant allowed teachers to participate in programming delivered by Big Shoulders Fund to leverage technology more fully to enhance instructional quality.

Reading & Writing Intervention
Vista School, Los Angeles, K-12

Vista Del Mar provides a trauma-responsive continuum of services to some of the most vulnerable and at-risk youth in all of Los Angeles County. Literacy and written language skills are essential not only for academic success, but underlies everything we do as a society.  This grant allowed the school to implement a pilot project using the Lindamood-Bell program in four elementary and middle school classrooms.

Playbook Residency
Waltrip High School, Houston

It is well- documented that schools with music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than those who do not, and Waltrip High School wanted to ensure the continued success of its Jazz Band program - and the well-being of its student musicians - during the pandemic. This grant allowed Waltrip to deepen its involvement with PLAYBOOK, the first virtual curriculum for jazz band students through private, small pod instruction and a planned Fall 2021 residency program.

Virtual Career & College Readiness App
Cedarville High School, Arkansas
Cairo Junior High School, Illinois
Kokomo High School, Indiana
Union Mine High School, Sacramento

Four schools received EEF Grants to facilitate the use of the Virtual College and Career Readiness App provided b College Coaching Network. This virtual environment provides students 24/7 access to a Career Marketplace with career assessment tests and virtual mentorship; a College marketplace with virtual college tours and the ability to chat with admissions advisors; and a Money Marketplace designed to equip families with financial literacy tips that assist them in filling out the FAFSA. The inability to travel or meet in person during the pandemic hindered many of these schools’ students ability to make informed decisions in regards to the future, and access to this application helps to bridge that gap.


These grants were awarded in the Paul Hastings EEF Pilot Program, which ran from December 2020 to March 2021, and should not be considered representative for all grants cycles. Grant guidelines are updated with each cycle, and always available on our website: https://csr.paulhastings.com/paul-hastings-equitable-education-fund/.