Hillsborough Education Foundation Selected as One of Six Statewide Grant Recipients to Provide ‘Digital Divide’ Family Support

For immediate release: December 1, 2021

For more information contact:
Kendra Oestreich, Hillsborough Education Foundation Director of Communications
[email protected] or (813) 944-9510


While Hillsborough County Public Schools students returned to in-person learning this school year, the need remains for students and families to effectively navigate digital learning resources and platforms. A two-year $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (Consortium) will support hiring eLearning coaches in six communities to engage vulnerable families in this key area.

“Our report — COVID Education Innovations in Florida: Top Ten Takeaways — shows that our schools have found ways of doing things that require digital literacy, skills and support,” said Mary Chance, CEO of the Consortium. “The ‘homework gap’ existed pre-pandemic and now most schools have a greater expectation that students can effectively navigate online learning and caregivers can engage with teachers through online conferences and learning platforms.”

Participating local education foundations in Citrus, Leon, Palm Beach, Pinellas and St. Johns school districts will learn from the eLearning effort launched by Hillsborough Education Foundation in late 2020 to launch similar initiatives in their school districts. Each of the six education foundations will receive partial funding for a full-time staff member to provide one-on-one support for identified families. Additional local funding from private contributors and public support will fund the positions for two years and the cohort of Consortium members will participate in a learning community to share leading practices and maximize the investment.




About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (Consortium): The Consortium is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the Consortium connects individuals, organizations and financial resources to build the capacity and effectiveness of Florida’s local education foundations. The Consortium now has 64 member foundations with 1,200 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $82 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The Consortium has provided nearly $62 million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program. For more information about the Consortium, visit: educationfoundationsfl.org


About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit wkkf.org

About Hillsborough Education Foundation: Established in 1987, Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) is a nonprofit focused on strengthening public education by supporting teachers and empowering students to achieve academic and personal success. HEF’s resources and financial support enrich K–12 educational experiences and provide equity in education for all students. Together with our community partners, HEF strategically invests in initiatives that impact teaching quality and increase graduation rates, bolstering a thriving workforce of tomorrow and the sustainable prosperity of Tampa Bay.