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.


Food insecurity high among emerging adults from Minnesota

November 11, 2020 – Older Youth

New research published in Public Health Nutrition examined the impacts of COVID on emerging adults’ food insecurity (mean age = 24), and on how food security status is linked to other experiences among this population. The authors found elevated rates of food insecurity in this group, and that food insecure participants were less likely to report having fresh produce at home, were more likely to report frequent fast food consumption, and were more likely to feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods. Participants identified more food assistance and relief funds as important supports for their health. The study recruited participants from an earlier longitudinal study of Minnesota young people (in secondary school in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in 2010 to 2018), for participation in an online survey. (Respondents were more diverse in income and racial-ethnic identity than the overall population of that region). #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Strategies for fostering engaging distance learning in early childhood education

November 9, 2020 – General

Adapting early childhood education, such as pre-kindergarten programs, to remote learning has been particularly challenging. As defined by the National Associate for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), ideal early learning environments use developmentally appropriate practices to promote joyful, engaged learning. Early childhood educators have developed some creative ways to engage young children and connect them with technology and other materials. For example, some educators have coordinated getting donated craft supplies to the homes of students, using puppets to speak on camera, and even rotating a class pet turtle among students’ homes. One teacher with a class of English Learners in Illinois created a YouTube channel where she reads books in English. #covid-19 #education

Local library provides support and social connection to veterans

November 4, 2020 – Families

In the rural town of Randle, Washington, the Mountain View Timberland Regional Library has worked throughout the pandemic to support veterans. Before the pandemic, the library had started a teleservices program for veterans called the Veteran Connection Café, which provided professional assistance with benefits like healthcare and pensions. Although that program could not continue once the pandemic began, the library has been offering contactless services over the phone. Veterans can also borrow Chromebooks and use the library WiFi in the parking lot, since the building is closed. #covid-19 #rural

“Green House” nursing homes far less impacted by COVID-19 than traditional facilities

November 3, 2020 – Seniors

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been the sites of notable COVID-19 outbreaks. However, “Green House” nursing homes—a nontraditional and less-institutionalized long-term care model—have reported far fewer COVID-19 cases and outbreaks. Green House facility residents are one-fifth as likely to contract COVID-19 as those living in standard nursinghomes. For example, a Green House residential facility in Northern Virginia called Goodwin House has not had a single case of the virus. Another facility in Florida, the Woodlands at John Knox Village, has only had one reported case. In addition to Green House facilities being structured more like homes than hospitals, employees also receive higher pay and more time for interacting with residents. Reported employee turnover is much lower at Green House facilities (just 8 percent) than the industry-wide 55 percent. However, these nontraditional facilities tend to be located in wealthier areas and few are Medicaid-reliant, meaning that these options are out of reach for many low-income seniors and seniors of color. #covid-19 #racialequity

Can public education return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic?

October 29, 2020 – General

For now, public education is in chaos, with different schooling combinations of in-person hybrid, fully remote, and plain homeschooling evident—sometimes all in one locality. Brookings reports that the politics now and in the foreseeable future will be fierce, just as we predicted in an earlier Chalkboard post. Even when the health crisis wanes, there will be pressures in two directions: one to put the old arrangements back into place just as they were before the pandemic hit, and the other to keep the crisis adaptations that have worked, at least for some students and their families. #education

Hazard pay for low-wage frontline essential workers is needed now more than ever

October 29, 2020 – Families

Brookings researchers follow up on the current state of hazard pay for frontline essential workers as the pandemic wears on. Many of the large retail companies ended their temporary increases to hourly pay months ago and federal relief efforts are stalled. At the same time, the actual hazard of the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased. Almost half of frontline essential workers are lowwage workers and Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers are overrepresented in these positions. Hazard pay is supported by more than three-quarters of the general public and many employers—particularly large retail companies like Amazon and Walmart that have realized massive profits during the pandemic— could bear the costs. Authors recommend that the next federal relief bill ought to focus on low-wage workers and that profitable companies should both restore hazard pay and permanently increase their minimum wages to $15/hour. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Navigating race and injustice in America’s middle class

October 29, 2020 – General

The United States of America is a race-plural nation – the American middle class is no different. If we define the middle class as those in the middle 60 percent of the household income distribution, with annual household incomes between $40,000 and $154,000, then 59 percent of the middle class is white, 12 percent of the group is Black, 18 percent is Hispanic, and 6 percent is Asian. Given the racial make-up of this group, this current period of civil unrest, and the looming presidential election, it is more important than ever for those of us concerned with the well-being of the American middle class to understand the attitudes of different racial groups within the middle class. In a Brookings study begun in late 2019, in which we conducted focus groups and personal interviews with a broad range of middle-class Americans, we were able to have real discussions about race, racism, identity, and injustice. To promote comfort and honesty, we stratified our focus groups by race and gender, which allowed different middle-class race-gender groups to talk openly about their experiences in their workplaces, with their families, communities, and in their everyday lives. Below, we present what members of the American middle class had to say about racial injustice, both in the months leading up to the first identified case and in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. #racialequity #covid-19 #workforce

Food insecurity up after relief measure wane

October 27, 2020 – Families

New research from the Urban Institute using its Coronavirus Tracking Survey finds that food insecurity increased by two percentage points between May and September, landing at 19.6 percent. The authors suggest that emergency SNAP allotments, stimulus payments, and unemployment compensation all served to keep food insecurity down through the spring and summer. Household where the respondent or their spouse or partner lost a job reported the highest rates of food insecurity, at 37 percent in September. Household food insecurity rates also remain much higher for Black adults (28.2 percent) and Hispanic/Latinx adults (30.5 percent) than for white adults (14.7 percent)—a pattern consistent throughout the pandemic. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity

COVID-19 could erase parenting gains of the last 30 years

October 26, 2020 – General

Brookings research has attributed income-based inequalities in young children’s academic achievement and educational attainment in part to differences in the home environment; that is, to differences in what parents do and the goals that drive their behavior. However, in our studies using data on parenting behavior and parental goals over the past 30 years, we found that income-based differences in parenting have been steadily decreasing. For instance, since the mid-1980s, low income parents have greatly increased the time they spend in enrichment with young children, such as reading to them, telling them stories, and taking them to the library. And, when we look at parents’ goals for children, we see a complete convergence in trends over time, such that high and low income parents today are equally likely to value children’s ‘thinking for themselves’ and ‘working hard’ over ‘being obedient,’ a trait low-income parents consistently rated as more important than higher income parents throughout the 20th Century. #education

Declines in nursing assistants across New Hampshire exacerbate nursing home staff shortages

October 26, 2020 – Seniors

The Concord Monitor reports on new data from the New Hampshire Board of Nursing that shows 2,381 licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) let their licenses lapse in New Hampshire between June 2019 and May 2020. During this same period the state only issued 1,672 new licenses, meaning there was a net loss of 709 LNAs. Staff shortages have been a challenge for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in New Hampshire historically and this recent loss exacerbates the problem. As LNAs are usually only paid around $15.50 per hour, the New Hampshire Long Term Care Stabilization program that provided weekly stipends to frontline health care workers were important incentives to keep LNAs as COVID-19 hit facilities. The program expired in July, but the governor announced new earmarks in mid-November, available through the end of the year, to incentivize these workers to continue their pandemic-era efforts. #covid-19

Recent parenting gains may not withstand the pandemic

October 26, 2020 – Families

Over the last 30 years, income-based differences in parenting have decreased. Low-income parents have been able to increase the amount of time they spend on enrichment activities, like reading, with their young children. Parental values across income groups have also converged. However, the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic threatens to eliminate these parenting gains. Ongoing Brookings research following low-income families with young children throughout the pandemic reveals that parents are struggling. From February to May 2020 not only were there far more families financially distressed, but there was also a 60 percent increase in the share of parents reporting to lose their temper on a given day. The pandemic and its impacts have also taken a toll on parental mental health and the share of parents who had not read to their young child at all the previous week doubled from 4.7 percent last fall to 8.2 percent (spring 2020). #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Sitting It Out? Or Pushed Out? Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

October 23, 2020 – General

Rand reports that in addition to long-standing challenges, such as securing child care and combating pay disparities, is the “she-cession,” the economic downturn that has hit women workers measurably harder than men. Occupations and industries with higher shares of women workers lost more jobs. Meanwhile, school and day care closures appear to have put a further burden on those with children. Indeed, the she-cession and its consequences make clear just how much policy has failed to keep up with women's progress. In January, among workers aged 18 to 55, there were 30.1 million men and 29.1 million women who had at least one child in their household. (These are not necessarily their children, but children who live with them.) For men in the labor force, the participation rate dropped 4 points, from 88 percent to around 84 percent, before starting to recover. For women, participation fell from 72 percent to 67 percent—a drop of 5 points, and the recovery was slower. Rates for both go down again in August and September, when many districts started the school year. Ominously, the drop is much larger among women. #workforce #covid-19