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.


No Child Left Offline: It’s time to prioritize digital equity in America’s public schools

August 2, 2021 – Young Children, Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Mental Health, Racial Equity

The pandemic’s impact on K-12 students has yet to be fully realized, but schools are bracing for learning losses, mental health challenges, and vast systemic and educational disparities revealed from the switch to remote learning. More than 9 million students did not have access to broadband service or an internet-enabled device at the beginning of the pandemic, having no choice but to miss online school. And because the virus has disproportionately impacted communities of color, students of color have been disproportionately learning remotely. To promote digital equity in education, Brookings scholars propose a “No Child Left Offline” initiative. #covid-19 #education #racialequity #mentalhealth

FAFSA verification requirements waived for 2021-2022 school year

July 13, 2021 – Older YouthEducation, Racial Equity

The U.S. Department of Education has waived verification requirements for most information required to complete the federal financial aid form for 2021-2022. The verification process typically requires selected applicants—typically between 15 and 40 percent of all applicants—to undergo an auditing process to verify that the financial information they submitted on federal financial aid forms is correct. (A separate Washington Post analysis of 2010 to 2020 data finds that students in majority Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, or who are Pell-grant eligible, are disproportionately likely to be selected for verification). Although this process aims at reducing fraud, it hinders low income and first generation students who may struggle to locate required tax paperwork or complete the complex forms without family or school support, thereby becoming ineligible for financial aid. Without this administrative burden, disadvantaged students have one less chance for falling through the cracks in the transition to college. #racialequity #education

Early evidence suggests four-day school weeks don’t meet all their aims

July 12, 2021 – Young Children, Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Rural

Four-day school weeks have become increasingly common in rural places, with 662 districts in 24 states using this model pre-pandemic. To ease remote learning implementation and reduce costs, the COVID-19 pandemic increased adoption of this model both in and out of rural areas, with the aim of reducing budgetary issues, attracting teachers, and improving student attendance. While there is some evidence that teachers view the model as a benefit, there are minimal budgetary savings or attendance improvements. Little evidence exists on the implications for student achievement, but early data from Oklahoma and Oregon suggests outcomes depends on how learning time is structured. One major downside to a four-day school week is in reduced access to school-based services, like childcare, physical activity, and school-meal programs that students and families rely on during the typical work-week. #covid-19 #education #rural

U.S. Census Bureau describes living arrangements of young parents

June 14, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesHousing

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), about half of young parents (ages 15-22) lived with their spouse or unmarried partner. While 22.7 percent of young parents live with a spouse, 30.2 percent live with an unmarried partner and the other half report living with no spouse or partner present (47.1 percent). The author notes that this follows the larger trend among young adults to live with an unmarried partner rather than marry and/or to marry later (median age at first marriage is about 30). Two-in-five young parents live with one or both of their own parents, although this rises to three-in-five among young solo parents. Living arrangements also varied by sex, with young fathers less likely to live with any of their children than young mothers (56.5 percent compared to 85.6 percent). #housing

Experimental test of early tuition commitment increases low-income students’ college application and enrollment

June 1, 2021 – Older YouthEducation

A study published in the American Economic Review used a randomized controlled trial to test whether clarifying financial aid availability to low-income, high-achieving high school seniors alters their college application decisions. Partnering with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, researchers mailed information to about 2,000 Michigan students in 2015 and 2016. Students in half of the 500 schools selected for the study received mailers that encouraged them to apply to the University and committed to providing four years of free tuition for those admitted. Students in the other schools received no mailings. The authors found that the mailer increased the likelihood of applying to the university from 26 percent among controls to 68 percent among the treatment group, and the share enrolling from 12 percent to 27 percent. #education

How 2 efforts that emerged during the pandemic are changing with the times

May 26, 2021 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Workforce

The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed the impact of two young-adult work and education programs during the pandemic. Intern From Home, a student-developed program that links peers to virtual internship opportunities ensures students who would otherwise be unable to access or accept summer internships are connected to virtual opportunities. The second program is the pre-established Global Citizen Year immersive abroad program. By shifting to a virtual cultural immersion during the pandemic, Global Citizen Year has been able to reach hundreds of additional students and has reduced attendance costs. #covid-19 #education #workforce

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

May 21, 2021 – Older YouthEducation, Juvenile Justice

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 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Education

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

PROMISE projects found to have positive impact on receipt of transition services among youth with autism spectrum disorder

May 1, 2021 – Older YouthWorkforce

Mathematica conducted a national evaluation of the PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—initiative, which consisted of government-supported projects aimed to support youth with disabilities receiving SSI and to facilitate transitions to adulthood. While authors found that there were some transition and family support services available for youth with ASD in the status quo environments, those who participated in PROMISE projects had higher receipt of transition services—especially case management services, employment-promoting services, financial education services, and benefits counseling. #workforce

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

April 29, 2021 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Education

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

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

April 27, 2021 – Older YouthJuvenile Justice

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

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

April 27, 2021 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Vaccination

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