Welcome Tiny Wave One
Less than three months ago, we announced the Tiny Fellowship. The goal was simple: invest in more founders at an earlier stage. The ability to quit your job would no longer be a barrier to getting support for your innovative school, learning space, or tool.
We shipped our application exclusively to alumni of our three-day workshop, Essentials, to gauge interest. The app was only open for two weeks, but it surfaced a diversity of ideas and founders (learn more about who applied by reading our intake report). After some tough selection decisions, the Fellowship has begun.
We’re excited to share the 24 fellows and 18 ventures we’ve selected to join our first wave of Fellows.
Meet the Teams
This Fellowship is nothing without the entrepreneurs that have chosen to spend their time with us. They are so much more than a name and a blurb. We’ll let their voice be heard here at the Future of School blog and you can get to know them one by one going forward (you can already see Peer Connect’s take on restorative justice here). To start, here’s a little bit about each Fellow and their ventures:
ValuED rewards students — and their parents/legal guardians — to reduce chronic absenteeism ad dropout costs. For every period of perfect attendance in K-12, students and their parents/legal guardians receive a gift card of their choice from a pre-approved retailer. Eventually, the fully-integrated ValuED attendance platform will be implemented in classrooms to track individual attendance and increase engagement in education.
ScholarMecca partners with schools to solve their issues with intervention and personalized learning. We learn our schools’ needs, then create customized lessons and hire talented teachers to work virtually with small groups of struggling students. Using a virtual whiteboard and audio-video connection, students complete lessons that target their learning gaps and build their confidence in the long-term.
Project Peaceful Warriors
Project Peaceful Warriors teaches trauma informed yoga and mindfulness strategies to equip students and educators with the tools to cope and heal in order to maintain focus in the classroom and grow academically as well as personally.
NOLA Nature School
Clare Loughran & Stacey Sharer
NOLA Nature School will serve preschool and kindergarten students by connecting them with nature full time. Using an innovative, foundational curriculum focused on developing kids at the most critical stage of growth, NOLA Nature School flips the traditional model of indoor class time with occasional outside play and allows students to spend the majority of their day outside.
As students spend larger percentages of time online in blended and virtual learning environments, schools and public spaces are not designed to absorb the growth. Just as adults who work from home are increasingly in need of co-working space, students will also need spaces that are conducive to productivity and learning. VSpace, a K-12 co-working space, allows students to maintain the social aspects of learning and access the resources of a brick & mortar school — all while working at their own pace.
Know every kids reading level in 10 minutes instead of 2 weeks.
Ernest Levroney & Grace Cruz
PRIME is a 7–12 school based in South LA, providing an education that takes place in the classroom and beyond through community based learning. At PRIME, we measure the success of our students and school not only through externally validated measures, but also through social impact scores. This core value is reflected in our assessments, projects and learning opportunities.
Middle and high school students — particularly underserved (low income, girls, students of color) — don’t have a way to visualize themselves in careers that they have no direct connection to. CodeSpeak Labs runs simulations — akin to mini internships — where groups of students are treated like Junior Software Engineers who experience a full development cycle. It’s Model United Nations meets Career Day.
Smart Start Transition
Parents of students with learning disabilities are unsure how to provide support at home, and it impacts students’ rates of academic and social growth. Smart Start Transition aims to help reduce the stress of navigating between home and school environments by providing students and their parents with the training and knowledge to manage the daily information and skills transfer process.
Meg & Scott Davis
We believe that sometimes, the best way to learn something is to get out of the classroom and experience it. Explorable Places makes that happen by connecting educators to field trips and experts by subject, grade, activity and location. Educators are able to find and book the perfect place based learning experience on our platform.
Nate Conroy & Megan Otero
Through a software based curriculum, STEMhero boosts interest in STEM pursuits — while leading to behavior changes needed to solve real world energy, water and health challenges — by empowering students to make their own personal data the foundation of their home and school learning.
NOLA Future Educators
NOLA Future Educators pairs high school seniors with mentor teachers in a K-12 classroom. Seniors spend about an hour each day shadowing their mentor, and eventually taking on responsibilities such as tutoring, leading small groups, and eventually teaching a lesson to the class. Seniors will be able to make a better choice on if teaching is the right career for them, and hopefully they will be convinced to teach in New Orleans public schools after college graduation.
The LIFE School
The LIFE School (thelifeschool.co) is a progressive, private high school in downtown Atlanta that offers an innovative diploma program. Our students are empowered to own their education and explore their interests through real world projects, internships, and travel experiences.
Dr. Moriska Selby & Tracie Jones
Adventure Girlz is a restorative leadership program that is distinct from other leadership development programs because of its focus on engaging a subset of marginalized youth within the minority community. Namely, this is Black girls — descendants from the African Diaspora — who are at risk of school push out from underperforming middle schools in New York City into the juvenile justice system. Adventure Girlz will utilize key mechanisms of change that are focused on personal youth development: MOVE (physical sports and field trips); TALK (critical conversations about what it means to grow up as a Black girl); MENTOR (events to collaborate and build relationships with peer and adult mentors); and LEAD (workshops to learn personalized goal setting and reflection techniques to improve life outcomes).
A youth development program that seeks to combat stressors of poverty through unique cultural enrichment experiences and creative writing.
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Shana Louallen & Tyler Brewster
We teach youth about the tenets of restorative justice, youth leadership and social justice innovation. Students travel to select cities to interface with peers around best practices in restorative justice. We empower youth, educators and schools to expand on utilizing youth voice for transformative cultural shifts.
Tariq Dione Evans Al-Nasir
Education doesn’t have to be dry and boring for your student. Imagine teaching them how to build robots, mobile apps, video games, or the essentials of computer programming. At STEMNASIUM LEARNING Academy in Overbrook Hills, Pennsylvania, we teach the essentials of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and provide after-hours education nationwide. We have been helping the next generation prepare for adulthood for more than 10 years.
See more details about Wave One, including individual bios, websites, locations, and more, in our directory.