What We Do

Social and emotional learning — specifically supporting students in learning life and social skills — has the power to create positive environments and more engaged communities. Our efforts are geared toward driving family and community support for the well-being of learners and the people who support them, to help students thrive both inside and outside the classroom.

The Power of Social and Emotional Learning at Home and in the Community

Elementary school aged kid smiling

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process of learning and applying the knowledge and skills to care for emotions, social relationships, and each individual’s sense of self. Extending access to this process outside of the classroom has the potential to foster healthy learning environments and address longstanding disparities in student opportunities and outcomes. These tools become more powerful and support learner well-being and learning success when they extend into the home.

Community support — be it from family, allies, or educators — has a meaningful positive impact on students’ social and emotional health. Students will be in a better position to succeed if their learning environments and experiences at school and beyond include social and emotional learning. We engage students and connect families and communities to help students apply these foundational life skills and strategies in all aspects of their lives and relationships.

Why Now?

We’re emerging from a period that has pushed the education system beyond its limits and brought to light many areas where our schools and students need more resources, new tools, and different ways of approaching persistent challenges.

The pandemic has challenged students, teachers, and their families and left many with feelings of anxiety, depression, and other emotional and mental health challenges. The impact has garnered attention and brought resources to problems such as inequitable access to digital devices and connectivity, but it did not adequately address the longstanding problem of learner, family, and educator well-being.

The Imagine Learning Foundation is driving the expanded use of knowledge and tools focused on student well-being in homes and communities to address this fundamental need.

Girl raising her hand

How We Work

We work to support and expand student well-being at home and in the community in two key ways:

Signature Grants

We are funding the Imagine Signature Grant Program to amplify national non-profit organizations’ efforts that advance our mission to:

  • support initiatives that foster the learning and well-being of youth and their families and educators at home and in the community
  • study the impacts of social, physical, mental, and emotional well-being on accelerating student achievement across diverse communities

View the details and requirements of the Signature Grant Program.

Grassroots Grants

We are also funding grants initiated by Imagine Learning employees, focused on SEL skills and digital education equity in out-of-classroom learning spaces and communities.

We will invite employees to identify grant submission opportunities and provide recommendations on finalists in each of five regions.

We’ll announce these grassroots grants and opportunities for employees to get involved through our corporate communication channels.

Our Partners

two educators collaborating

Grant Deadlines

The Imagine Learning Foundation invites proposals from national organizations whose actions support our mission to foster the well-being of learners and those who support learners at home and in their communities. Grant application key dates and deadlines for submitting proposals for the upcoming year will be posted as available.

Signature Grants

In 2023, the Imagine Learning Foundation will partner with and fund a variety of national organizations whose work aligns with its mission and meets the priority areas and guidelines under the Imagine Signature Grants Program. In total, the Imagine Learning Foundation plans to award at least $300,000 in Imagine Signature Grants to organizations that meet the Foundation’s funding priority areas of focus. The awarded grantees and their programs will be funded for up to twelve (12) months and program start date(s) may occur between July 1, 2023, through November 30, 2023.

  • Funding Announcement: November 2022
  • Application Opens: January 2023
  • Application Deadline: April 30, 2023, at 5pm PDT
  • Application Review: May/June 2023
  • Award Notifications: June 2023

Grassroots Grants

Grassroots submissions will also be accepted throughout 2023.

Inaugural Grant Recipients

We are delighted to announce Erika’s Lighthouse and Up2Us Sports as the inaugural recipients of the Imagine Learning Foundation’s Signature Grants. Each organization received $100,000 to support social and emotional learning beyond the classroom.

Erika's Lighthouse

Erika’s Lighthouse is a Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health, and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The grant will fund Family Engagement resources including a Family Handbook, a series of Family Workshops, and educational videos all designed to educate families about youth depression, crisis intervention, and best practices for helping their children navigate their mental health.

Up 2 Us

Up2Us Sports is the nationwide leader in engaging and training sports-based youth development coaches, practitioners, and organizations to address the most pressing issues facing youth in under-resourced urban communities. The grant will fund the first major national research study to measure the impact of sports-based youth development (SBYD) programming on social and emotional skill development. This study will help inform the growth of SBYD as a proven methodology for fostering social and emotional skills in schools across the country.

How does the Imagine Learning Foundation measure the impact of our initiatives?

Measuring the depth and breadth of our impact on students, their families, educators, and communities is a critical part of fulfilling our charter. We will conduct studies and surveys to assess the reach and impact of our efforts and partnerships.