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The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog

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We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.


Toby Shepherd
Toby Shepherd
Toby Shepherd's Blog

Seeding innovation in Rhode Island's schools
By Toby Shepherd / July 11, 2016
What do we mean when we say “innovation” in the education context? To us, innovative approaches in education are those new ideas that hold transformative promise to produce measurable results for a specific need in a sustainable and replicable way.

Finding common ground
By Toby Shepherd / May 17, 2016
Earlier this year, fifth-grade students from the Jewish Community Day School of RI and the Islamic School of RI came together for twelve weeks to explore issues of identity, society, and friendship through the Center for Dynamic Learning's hands-on STEAMM program. The collaboration was supported by a grant from our Bliss, Gross, Horowitz Fund.

Helping educators improve their craft
By Toby Shepherd / February 24, 2016
This blog post is the first in a series designed to explore and unpack each of these strategies further. And while we’ll explore the first two further in future posts, I am taking the liberty of going out of order to start with our third strategy first: professional development.

Every student succeeds
By Toby Shepherd / February 4, 2016
On February 1st, 2016 the Rhode Island Foundation convened a group of education stakeholders to hear from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cottam and Elementary & Secondary Education Commissioner Ken Wagner about the new federal “Every Student Succeeds” Act.

Grants spark classroom innovation
By Toby Shepherd / December 23, 2015
Our Spark Grants program is based on a simple premise: students learn best when given real-life opportunities to engage in academic content in meaningful, non-traditional ways

Centennial Community Grants available for community-making projects
By Toby Shepherd / December 8, 2015
In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation will commemorate 100 years since our founding, and we plan to celebrate each of Rhode Island’s unique thirty-nine cities and towns by funding community-making projects throughout the state.

The College Crusade: closing gaps in student outcomes
By Toby Shepherd / October 26, 2015
Education grantmaking at the Rhode Island Foundation is focused on closing gaps in student outcomes. And while we’re privileged to invest in many schools and nonprofit organizations that advance this work across our state, few operate at the scale and effectiveness as the College Crusade of Rhode Island.

Back to school
By Toby Shepherd / August 20, 2015
It’s hard to believe that Rhode Island’s students begin returning to school in two short weeks. But believe it or not, a new school year is almost upon us – and we at the Rhode Island Foundation could not be more excited for the year ahead.

Leading for change in urban education systems
By Toby Shepherd / May 15, 2015
Dr. Andres Alonso, Professor of Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and CEO of Baltimore Public Schools for six years, talks about change in urban education systems at our 2015 Civic Leadership Fund Community Conversation.

Serving Providence youth from
By Toby Shepherd / May 7, 2015
The Providence Children & Youth Cabinet is a place-based coalition of approximately 60 youth-serving organizations in the City of Providence. Partner organizations have committed to working together to advance a series of common goals that span from “cradle to career.”

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