It’s not often that you get a single email that you think will change the course of an entire organization – and it’s even less often that you get one that actually does. In December of 2014, while on a business trip to California, Edcamp was contacted by Carina Wong, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s College Ready initiative. She said that she leads a team that is focused on supporting teacher practice networks and that she had been following Edcamp and its growth. She was amazed at the work that we, the founders, – and the thousands of organizers – had done over the past 5 years, and she wanted to know more.
That was the beginning of the journey down a path of helping grow Edcamp from the grassroots volunteer organization that it has been since 2010, to the successful “start up” organization that is working with teachers in 25 countries to help design and grow participant-driven professional learning for educators.
Today we are thrilled to announce that the Edcamp Foundation has received a $2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the growth of our programs and to expand our reach.
With the help of this grant, Edcamp is now able to operate and scale as an organization, thereby providing the home-office support for more than 1000 organizers in the field. We are also now able to:
Establish the Edcamp Discovery Grant program with 115 grants to be given over the next year to teachers to implement new ideas in their classrooms.
Hold regional summits for Edcamp organizers to share best practices.
Provide funding for the Edcamp-in-a-Box program.
This grant, and what it will enable us to do, is a testament to the work of our organizers who have volunteered their time for years to enable us to come this far. It is also a testament to our participants who continue to inspire us with their questions and their conversations, session after session. Edcamp would not be who we are–and who we are going to be–without you.