Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Households receiving government benefits have 2% of the wealth, 89% the debt of counterparts without benefits

May 25, 2021 – General

The Census Bureau reports on the 2017 wave of its Survey of Income and Program Participation, assessing wealth and debt among low-income households. The report quantifies median wealth of households participating in means-tested government benefit programs versus their counterparts without benefits, finding a massive gap between the two. Even excluding home equity, those receiving benefits reported median wealth of $1,835 compared with $74,530 among those without benefits: a 97 percent gap. Alarmingly, despite less wealth and fewer assets, levels of unsecured debt were relatively similar between the groups, at $8,000 in the group with benefits and $9,000 in the group without. Given low wealth and high debt, financial mobility is especially challenging among low income families, even before the added financial strains of the pandemic. #wealth&assets

Harvard experts make the case that racism inhibits child development

May 21, 2021 – General

In a new research brief, Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child unpacks the ways that addressing racism can open new opportunities for child wellbeing and success. The brief notes the established link between racism and worse child and family outcomes, pointing specifically to the known pathways connecting toxic stress, trauma, and recurring adversity to later life outcomes like school readiness, educational achievement, and economic productivity. #racialequity #place-based #education #mentalhealth

Overall financial well-being of U.S. households in 2020 similar to 2019, though uneven across education and race

May 21, 2021 – General

The Federal Reserve reports on the findings of the 2020 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). Although overall financial well-being fluctuated throughout 2020, by the end of the year financial well-being was back to 2019 levels, with 75 percent of adults “at least doing okay” financially. However, this was true of just 45 percent of adults with less than a high school degree. Worse financial well-being was also documented among adults identifying as Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ+. Additionally, almost one-quarter of adults reported that they were worse off financially compared to 12 months earlier (an increase from 14 percent in 2019). #covid-19 #racialequity #wealth&assets

Public preschool in Boston associated with increased educational attainment, decreasedv negative student behavior outcomes

May 21, 2021 – General

The School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative (SEII) at MIT recently published a discussion paper assessing the long-term effects of the universal public preschool program in Boston. The study leveraged the randomized preschool lottery process to explore both the short- and long-term impacts of attending a public preschool on student outcomes, comparing those who attended with those who did not. While enrollment in Boston public preschool had no detectable impact on academic achievement in terms of test scores, preschool enrollment was associated with increased long-term educational attainment and more positive student behavior. Those who attended the public preschool program were more likely to graduate high school, take the SAT, enroll in college on time, and ever enroll in college than their peers. Preschool attendants also had better student behavior outcomes, as they were less likely to be suspended in high school or ever be incarcerated as a juvenile. #education #juvenilejustice

New Hampshire summer school and camps support youth with academic and social losses

May 19, 2021 – General

The Concord Monitor reports that nonprofit organizations and school districts in New Hampshire are experiencing increased demand for summer programming as they work to address losses of the past year. Drawing on federal COVID funds, the state has made low-income children and children with disabilities eligible for summer camp subsidies. Additional support is being made available to offset the cost of “learning pods,” enhancing traditional summer school offerings. Other organizations focus on preparing children for kindergarten or helping older students achieve missing credits and reconfigure disrupted educational plans from last year. #covid-19 #education

Making best use of federal child care support means strategic partnerships to build capacity

May 4, 2021 – General

A new report from CLASP elucidates the role and extent of different federal relief funding streams that can be used to enhance child care facilities. Some resources are specific to child care (e.g., the Child Care & Development Block Grant) while others, available to states and localities as general small business and capital project funds, could also be leveraged in this way. CLASP identifies which sources can be used for renovations, technical assistance, equipment, hazard pay, and other infrastructure-supporting uses. Authors suggest partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are an especially important strategy for states and tribes to consider, given that these partnerships can open access to new funding streams, development expertise, real estate, and technical assistance. #covid-19 #education #childcare

Workers Not Receiving Mental Health Support During COVID

April 30, 2021 – General

Homebound workers and those out serving the public have struggled to keep their emotional equilibrium during a traumatic year of mass disease and death. Long work hours, tiring videoconference calls and tense mask wars have added to the stress. Their mental health is a growing issue for employers — who have not historically been of much help. Now, with more people heading back to their workplaces, companies need to make profound changes in how they approach employees' psychological and emotional well being, advocates say. #covid-19 #workforce #mentalhealth

Despite Connecticut’s focused investments, more devices and internet connections didn’t completely close the homework gap

April 29, 2021 – General

In July 2020, the governor of Connecticut allocated more than $40 million in federal aid to purchasing a laptop and one-year internet connection for K-12 students attending school remotely without sufficient digital equipment. Navigating the difficult logistics of quantifying need and disseminating equipment, the state did enhance access, but some teachers estimate that 10 percent of students never logged in at all. By February 2021, the state had released a report summarizing some of the barriers to connecting families for remote learning, shedding light on a complexity of challenges that extend beyond mere access. #covid-19 #education

Rural Health Information Hub collects ideas for bringing telehealth to rural areas

April 28, 2021 – General

The Rural Monitor reports on various strategies to enhance telehealth access in rural places with limited broadband.#covid-19 #rural #health

Limiting juvenile probation terms is more efficient, equitable, and reduces harm

April 27, 2021 – General

An Urban Institute report on juvenile probation synthesizes existing research and proposes restructuring probation to shorten terms for youth. Authors cite three central reasons for limiting probation lengths, including minimizing harm to youth by reducing justice system involvement, deploying both justice system and community-based resources more efficiently, and promoting racial equity by improving access to supports and services for youth of color. #juvenilejustice #racialequity

Rural COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, although rural vaccination rates lag urban rates

April 27, 2021 – Families

For the week of April 18-24, rural new COVID-19 infection rates declined by almost 15 percent in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties. Similarly, the number of weekly rural deaths also fell by over 10 percent, reaching the lowest point since mid-July 2020. The weekly rate of new infections in rural areas was 97 per 100,000 residents, lower than the urban new infection rate of 127 per 100,000 residents. States with clusters of “red-zone” counties with high numbers of new infections include Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New Hampshire. #covid-19 #rural

West Virginia offers $100 incentive to young people who get vaccinated

April 27, 2021 – Older Youth

To encourage older youth and young adults to get a vaccine, the state of West Virginia is offering a $100 incentive, funded with CARES Act dollars. On Monday, April 26 Governor Jim Justice announced that any person ages 16-35 who gets, or has gotten, a COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $100 savings bond. After a strong initial vaccination roll out, West Virginia’s pace has slowed considerably even as the state has expanded vaccine eligibility to younger age groups. Simultaneously, COVID-19 infections are increasing among younger people, who now account for 26 percent of cases statewide as of mid-April. Given these factors, vaccinating young people has become a key focus in West Virginia’s plan. #covid-19 #vaccination