Changemaker Program and Grant Opportunity for Youth Educators

Burton D. Morgan Foundation is partnering with Korda Institute for Teaching to catalyze changemakers in schools across Northeast Ohio. Through this initiative:

  • Schools will learn how to teach so that students are empowered with the skills, knowledge, and agency they need to tackle the challenges we face in this century.
  • Educators will be equipped to design educational experiences where students master skills and content while solving real challenges from organizations in their community.
  • Teachers will learn instructional methods that result in deeper student engagement and the development of critical entrepreneurial skills like creative problem-solving, collaboration, research, critical thinking, and communication.

Interested schools are invited to participate in a program where they will explore the elements of challenge-based learning, build internal capacity by upskilling teachers, test new teaching methods through carefully crafted pilots, receive tailored coaching, and influence an internal culture shift that puts students in the driver’s seat.  This program is available at no cost to schools, through a grant made by Burton D. Morgan Foundation to the Korda Institute.

Morgan Foundation leads the region in supporting entrepreneurship programming for adults, students in higher education and youth.  Deborah Hoover, Foundation President and CEO, commented, “It has never been more important than it is right now for students to learn how to learn, to develop transferable skills, and to be motivated to solve problems that have real-world consequences.  We have all been thrust into a new world order in which there are few immediate answers to global challenges.  Our daunting public health crisis underscores the need for all young people to equip themselves to become the dynamic innovators of tomorrow, and our nation’s educators are ideally positioned to spark this ambitious level of impactful learning and creating.”

Korda Institute for Teaching is working to redesign public education for lasting systemic change that closes the opportunity gap. They have helped hundreds of K-12 schools around the world change how teachers teach and students learn. Whether in virtual or in-person courses, schools are seeing powerful student outcomes in engagement, academics and social-emotional skills.CEO Doris Korda stated, “Educators are poised to make change. We now have proven and radically different methods of teaching that are transforming students, classrooms and communities. We are thrilled to partner with Burton D. Morgan Foundation to provide innovative schools in Northeast Ohio with the resources and support they need to redesign school.”

Eligibility & Commitment
K-12 public schools in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, and Mahoning counties, Ohio are eligible to participate in the Changemaker program.  Participating schools will form a School Design Team that includes one administrator and 2 - 4 teachers.  School Design Teams are committed to:

  • Experimenting with new methods of teaching and learning;
  • Forming active community partnerships; and
  • Being recorded for knowledge sharing purposes.

Learn More
A Virtual Open Call will be held on June 24, 2020 from 10:00 – 11:00 am.  Any interested principal from an eligible school may register for this one-hour introductory session on the Changemaker Program. The principal or an appropriate administrator must attend the Virtual Open Call in order to register their school for the Changemaker Program.

Educator Training and Implementation
A maximum of ten schools that participate in the Open Call will be selected for the Changemaker Program.  Through virtual training sessions, the participating School Design Teams will:

  • Learn a 21st Century teaching methodology rooted in cognitive science;
  • Design a pilot project in which students learn skills and academic content while solving a real problem for a local organization; and
  • Access a robust digital toolkit with detailed lesson and project plans.

During the 2020-21 school year, School Design Teams will receive coaching and training from the Korda Institute that includes pre-pilot coaching calls, ongoing implementation support during their pilot projects, and post-pilot debriefs.

Grant Opportunity
All schools that complete training and pilot implementation are eligible to apply for a special Changemaker Grant from Burton D. Morgan Foundation.  Up to four grants will be awarded totaling up to $400,000. Grants will be prioritized based on the school’s ability to transform classrooms into entrepreneurial learning environments for all students and facilitate the culture shift that will lead to lasting change.

Changemaker Schools that are interested in receiving three-year grants will submit an application to Burton D. Morgan Foundation that details what they plan to do each year and the amount of financial support they need to accomplish those tasks. Selected schools will implement their grants over three years (2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 academic years.)  An individual from each school will be asked to participate in a Changemaker Grants panel discussion at the annual Enspire Conference.

For more information or to register for the open call, visit: