In March 2020, when school doors were forced to abruptly close, we jumped into action to address the immediate needs of students in the Boulder Valley School District. At the time, over 6,500 students received free or reduced lunch and an economic crisis was impacting thousands more students and families.
With the support of generous individuals, businesses, and foundations, we raised over $500,000 for our Critical Needs Fund. These dollars directly supported the needs of local students and ensured all students could continue to learn.
Our Critical Needs Fund investments focused on four key areas:
- Food security. We worked closely with BVSD Food Services to distribute food to families in need. Many students rely on their schools for breakfast, lunch, and weekend nutrition. With our partners at BVSD, we were committed to ensuring students and their families received nutritious food.
- Access to remote learning and school supplies. We worked with BVSD IT to ensure all students had access to resources, including technology devices and reliable internet, necessary to work and learn remotely. We also mobilized tens of thousands of dollars worth of school supplies and age-appropriate books to support students’ at-home learning.
- Catching up students. We invested in supplemental instruction to catch students up on their learning. This included knowledge and skills lagging from remote learning as well as ensuring that any gaps in learning do not widen or become more permanent learning deficits.
- Driving student support and engagement. A focus throughout the 2020-21 school year was to ensure students received the support they needed and stayed engaged in learning. We addressed these potential barriers to student success through our Student Academic Support Fund which provided money to offset the costs for schools to provide financial assistance to students in need.