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

Reducing the Black-white racial wealth gap will require dedicated and comprehensive policy solutions

July 28, 2021 – FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Education, Housing, Racial Equity, Wealth & Assets, Wealth and Assets, Workforce

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines the Black/white wealth gap and summarizes a set of proposals and policy actions to address the gap. Some recommendations include allowing the U.S. Postal Service to conduct banking services to increase community access; investing in research and development opportunities for Black innovators and inventors; dedicating additional funds for Black entrepreneurs; developing a National Savings Plan to provide retirement accounts to public sector workers; and investing in young children through childcare and education. #racialequity #childcare #education #housing #workforce #covid-19 #wealth&assets

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

For Massachusetts families, early educators provide a critical pandemic support

July 1, 2021 – General – Childcare, COVID-19, Education, Mental Health

A new report from Harvard draws data from families and early educators in its ongoing Early Learning Study of Massachusetts to describe child wellbeing in the pandemic, and to identify the supports that are critical in allowing families to cope. The report acknowledges the significant damage the pandemic has wrought to children’s socio-emotional wellbeing and suggests that while recovering from academic losses is important, attention must also be paid to the social and interpersonal context in which learning occurs. More than half of participating educators said they’ve noticed child behavioral change in the pandemic, although increased demonstrations of child resiliency were sometimes part of this documented shift. The report finds that early educators serve as a resource and support for children, while families draw strength from enhanced opportunities for togetherness. #covid-19 #education

CLASP report advises on embedding equity into early childhood policy

June 21, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Education, Racial Equity

A new report from CLASP describes the ways in which the data collection, analysis, and dissemination practices underlying early childhood research and policymaking are shaped by systemic racism and white supremacy. As a result, these practices reinforce inequity via siloed and inadequate data processes and related decision making. The report highlights ways that racist structures not specific to early childhood in fact interact with early childhood care and education availability, affordability, and quality in ways that are both diverse and unique for communities of color. The report suggests embedding community engagement frameworks at each point in the decision making process is central to addressing these challenges, and points to specific strategies that decisionmakers can utilize in doing so. Some of these strategies include reconfiguring power structures to position impacted communities in leadership roles and moving beyond simple disaggregation of outcomes to collecting and analyzing data in ways more resonant with impacted communities. #education #covid-19 #racialequity

Pandemic impacts review finds decline in ECCE program enrollment, setbacks to young child learning and development

June 21, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19, Education, Racial Equity, Workforce

The University of Michigan and the Urban Institute have partnered to synthesize the pandemic’s effects on young children and on the early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs that serve them. Reviewing 63 studies on COVID-19 and early childhood disruptions, the authors find consistent documentation of ECCE enrollment declines, a mix of in-person and remote settings for programs that were available, and significant setbacks to young child learning and development, disproportionately born by low-income families and families of color. The paper makes short-term recommendations for leveraging immediate COVID-related resources, but also provides guidance on strengthening the ECCE system for the long-term, including investing in the workforce and in cohesive systems planning. #covid-19 #childcare #racialequity #workforce #education

N.H. announces plan to combat pandemic-era learning losses, prioritizes broadband access in rural areas

June 8, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Education, Rural

The New Hampshire Department of Education received $350 million from the American Rescue Plan to be allocated towards local schools and education needs. The NH DOE distributed 90 percent of these funds to school districts based on population size and poverty levels. The state has discretionary power over the remaining 10 percent ($35 million). The NH DOE’s plan for these discretionary funds is to help students get back on track after any learning losses from this past year. #covid-19 #education #rural

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

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

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

May 4, 2021 – FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Education

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

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

New factsheet explores easing the transition to school for young children

April 21, 2021 – General – COVID-19, Education

A new factsheet from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Mid-Atlantic summarizes strategies for supporting school transitions for young children. The transition to kindergarten and first grade is a critical time for children, and research has shown that students from lower-income families are at a higher risk for poor school transitions. The factsheet highlights evidence-based ways that school districts can foster more equitable transitions through adequately supporting educators, families, and children. #covid-19 #education