What we do.
The Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed) is dedicated to increasing the number of students in the Birmingham City Schools that are on the path to college, career, and life readiness. We believe that this is only possible by cultivating a diverse network of people who demand excellence for our students and inspire others to do the same. We believe Network members:
- Self-identify as members of the network motivated by their belief in and love for our students; and
- Intentionally connect through a set of relationships, take advantage of opportunities to act together, and exchange value between individuals and groups.
To actively cultivate the Network, we provide direct programming for students and fun and interactive opportunities for Network members to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. We serve as Connectors among five different stakeholder groups – students, educators, families, local residents, and community partners– bringing them together to create a new operating culture that sparks organic and objective- driven visions to increase student preparedness for college, career, and life.
Network initiatives fall under the headings of Educate Local and Raise Up!
Educate Local is a specific set of innovative and high-value opportunities for Birmingham City School students to engage in meaningful and authentic college & career access and essential skills training; engage Network members in activities developed to address strategic student-centered Network priorities; and expand the personal networks of our students, community members, and stakeholders.
Raise Up! initiatives provide the weekly and monthly time, space, and set of practices which have proven to: encourage relationships to be formed across lines of difference; surface Network member ideas, concerns, and/or opportunities; and give Network members the opportunity to exchange their gifts and talents to meet community needs and participate in collective action.
The Ed Network is supported by a growing number of Network Connectors and stewards who help to facilitate the many connections that are being made everyday.
Why we do it.
Because we believe deeply committed relationships across lines of difference can change everything. Because we believe in the potential of our kids and the potential of our city. Because we know our students will be successful if we give them opportunity to do so. Because they deserve our support. Because Birmingham’s future depends on it. Because it is our life’s work
How we got here.
In July of 2007, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham began reaching out to communities served by the Birmingham City Schools (BCS) to better uderstand, give voice to the challenges that our students and families face everyday, and find the answers to two key questions:
- “What kind of community do you envision for the future?”
- “What kind of schools do we need to get us there?”
Birmingham spoke. Ed was born.
(Want to hear the whole story? Read our full history and learn about our first initiatives here.)
Where we’re going.
We won’t stop until all of the students in the Birmingham City Schools are receiving a first-rate education, and that means being prepared for success after high school. Whether they decide to go to college, enter the workforce or military, or start a family, we are dedicated to their academic, professional, and personal success.