Back To School Solutions: A Call to Engage

An open letter from the leaders of Dream Corps, Thrive Global, DonorsChoose, CAA Foundation, and Nextdoor

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When Coronavirus hit in March, families and school systems around the country scrambled to adapt. We all hoped that the summer break would give us enough time to do everything that needed to be done to go back to school safely and successfully in the fall. And yet… here we are! 

If you’re a parent, student, teacher, or administrator and feeling overwhelmed by the unprecedented circumstances, you are FAR from alone. This is too big a burden for any one person to bear on their own. The good news is we don’t have to. We know there are all kinds of good ideas and smart solutions out there right now.

That’s why we’re launching a campaign to uncover and share the country’s strongest #BackToSchoolSolutions, along with a platform that will serve as a nationwide hub to source and spread the best solutions, and the most innovative ideas and inspiring stories from people and communities all across the country.

On September 12th, #BackToSchoolSolutions will host a National Day of Conversation and Action, and we want to hear from YOU. Whether your #BackToSchoolSolutions are big and grand or small and simple, they ALL make a difference. Everything counts. It all adds up.

Register here to join us for the Day of Action and find out how you can connect with others both in your community and throughout the country. Our goal is to help you find the answers you need and become a catalyst for positive change in your community. 

This problem will only get solved by community members coming together to pitch in and contribute as much as we can. And for the things we can’t fix? We need to share our world-class workarounds with each other. The best thing we can do to help ourselves is to lean in and help each other.

How else are we going to deal with these impossible choices?

  • Do we send our children back into virus-infected schools, where they might fall sick, or bring the virus back into our homes? Or do we keep them at home, where they might fall behind or lose critical support from their peer groups? 
  • Should teachers (especially older ones) have to risk their lives to educate students?
  • Many working parents have jobs they can’t do at home. Are we going to force parents to choose between earning income for their families and ensuring their children receive a proper education?
  • And what about the little ones (K-3) and special needs kids who require so much more than a computer tablet all day? 
  • What about the families who don’t have enough money for lunch every day, much less tablets and WiFi?

Parents are smart, teachers are smart, and kids are smart (sometimes too smart!). So let’s harness our collective brainpower to harvest our best ideas and put them in one place. As a result, we hope to have the largest collection of crowd-sourced solutions to one of the biggest problems facing our nation today.

Our schools are more than places to learn. They’re communities of care — serving vital roles for our children in emotional development, nutrition, exercise and mental health. That means we have a big gap to fill in so many communities across the country. 

That’s exactly why we’ve built a strong, diverse founding coalition that includes Dream Corps, Thrive Global, Nextdoor, DonorsChoose, and CAA Foundation. What we’re missing is YOU!

So please, join our “solutionary” coalition by starting a conversation on Nextdoor or sharing your ideas with #BackToSchoolSolutions on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook by Saturday, September 12, 2020. 

We’ll be sharing what you help us uncover along the way!


Van Jones, Founder & Board Member, Dream Corps
Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global
Charles Best, Founder and CEO, DonorsChoose
Deborah Marcus, Executive, CAA Foundation 
Nisha Anand, CEO, Dream Corps
Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor

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