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As a working mother of two school-aged children, I know too well the impossible choices parents and kids are facing right now. Far too many parents are stuck — they can’t afford not to work, yet they don’t have the luxury of being able to work from home either. Millions of kids need more than just a tablet or cell phone to grow and achieve their dreams. 

We’re already in the middle of a pandemic that is hurting Black and Brown people first and worst. Now, the lack of leadership in education will make things worse by disproportionately hurting children in our communities.

The good news is that there is way too much collective genius in America for this problem to remain unsolved. Dream Corps exists to find and push solutions that change people’s lives. We tap into the genius that already exists in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. We amplify the best ideas and find common ground to make solutions happen. 

That is why we’re launching a new partnership called Back to School Solutions with our friends at DonorsChoose, Thrive Global, CAA, and Nextdoor. 

I’m hopeful we can build a community that will lean on each other across racial and partisan lines. We can share all the crazy-good workarounds out there with each other, and show how bottom-up problem-solving can get us through this crisis better and more united than we were before. 

I hope you’ll join in and help us spread the word.

See the below for a letter I co-signed with our partners and please join me in sharing your Back To School Solutions — we’ll need all of us to get through this mess together.

— Nisha Anand, CEO, Dream Corps

Back to School Solutions Announcement Letter

When Coronavirus hit in March, families and school systems around the country scrambled to adapt. We all hoped that the summer break would give us enough time to do everything needed to go back to school safely and successfully in the fall. And yet,… here we are! 

If you’re a parent, student, teacher, or administrator and feeling overwhelmed by the unprecedented circumstances, you are FAR from alone. This is too big a burden for any one person to bear on their own. The good news is we don’t have to. We know there are all kinds of good ideas and smart solutions out there right now.

That’s why we’re launching a campaign to uncover and share the country’s strongest #BackToSchoolSolutions and a platform that will serve as a nationwide hub to source and spread the best solutions, the most innovative ideas, and inspiring stories from people and communities all across the country.

On September 12th, #BackToSchoolSolutions will host a National Day of Conversation and Action, and we want to hear from YOU. Whether your #BackToSchoolSolutions are big and grand or small and simple, they ALL make a difference. Everything counts. It all adds up.

Register here to join us for the Day of Action and find out how you can connect with others, both in your community and throughout the country. Our goal is to help you find the answers you need and become a catalyst for positive change in your community. 

This problem will only get solved by community members coming together to pitch in and contribute as much as we can. And for the things we can’t fix? We need to share our world-class workarounds with each other. The best thing we can do to help ourselves is to lean in and help each other.

How else are we going to deal with these impossible choices?

  • Do we send our children back into virus-infected schools, where they might fall sick, or bring the virus back into our homes? Or do we keep them at home, where they might fall behind or lose critical support from their peer groups? 
  • Should teachers (especially older ones) have to risk their lives to educate students?
  • Many working parents have jobs they can’t do at home. Are we going to force parents to choose between earning income for their families and ensuring their children receive a proper education?
  • And what about the little ones (K-3), and special needs kids who require so much more than a computer tablet all day? 
  • What about the families who don’t have enough money for lunch every day, much less, tablets and WiFi?

Parents are smart, teachers are smart, and kids are smart (sometimes too smart!). So let’s harness our collective brainpower to harvest our best ideas and put them in one place. As a result, we hope to have the largest collection of crowd-sourced solutions to one of the biggest problems facing our nation today.

Our schools are more than places to learn. They’re communities of care that play a vital role in our children’s emotional development, mental, and physical health. That means we have a big gap to fill in so many communities across the country. 

That’s precisely why we’ve built a strong, diverse founding coalition that includes Dream Corps, Thrive Global, Nextdoor, DonorsChoose, and CAA Foundation. What we’re missing is YOU!

So please, join our “solutionary” coalition by starting a conversation on Nextdoor or sharing your ideas with #BackToSchoolSolutions on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook by Saturday, September 12th, 2020. 

We’ll be sharing what you help us uncover along the way!

SIGNED BY:

Van Jones, Founder & Board Member, Dream Corps

Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

Charles Best, Founder & CEO, DonorsChoose

Deborah Marcus, Executive, CAA Foundation 

Nisha Anand, CEO, Dream Corps

Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor