CZI Takes ‘Whole Child’ Approach to Education


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is on a mission to reform education. While many philanthropists share its vision, it's still in debate about which levers have the greatest impact on education. CZI has taken a data-centric approach by investing in research to inform the best use of funds, particularly in 'whole child' education. Now they've invested $3.3 million into organizations that are focused on more than just helping kids hit the books.

'Whole child' education refers to equipping kids with all the skills they need to be successful in life, not just the academic ones. It's long been argued that what happens to children outside of school is just as important as what happens within them. CZI has the research to prove it and is looking to turn those results into action. Four organizations have been selected to receive grants, all of which share this holistic approach to education:

  • CASEL is a Chicago-based research and advocacy organization that facilitates social and emotional curriculum in schools.
  • GripTape provides grants and mentorship to help kids pursue their passion projects.
  • Peer Health Exchange trains college students to teach health curriculum at low-resourced schools - often the only health education these students receive.
  • Roses in Concrete is a K-8 school in Oakland that integrates education with family resources, like health, housing, and job training.