Venable Foundation Awards Impact Grants of $500,000 to Nine Organizations to Enhance Student Learning Post-Pandemic

5 min

Washington, DC (November 1, 2021) –Venable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of law firm Venable LLP, is pleased to announce it has awarded impact grants totaling $500,000 benefiting nine organizations in the firm’s respective communities, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These organizations are providing enhanced services for school-aged youth that aim to bring students up to grade-level proficiency through intensive tutoring and family engagement. The grant recipients are Elev8 Baltimore ($100,000) in Baltimore; Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) ($70,000) and Reading Partners Los Angeles ($30,000) in Los Angeles; Springboard Collaborative ($50,000) and City Year New York ($50,000) in New York; Reading Partners San Francisco Bay Area ($25,000) and Good Samaritan Family Resource Center ($75,000) in San Francisco; and The Literacy Lab ($60,000) and City Year DC ($40,000) in Washington, DC.

“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing academic achievement gaps for students, and their learning has been significantly disrupted. These impact grants provide an opportunity for the Venable Foundation to invest in organizations intent on providing schools and students with the resources they need to grow their skills and be successful. We are pleased to be able to award deeper funding that extends beyond the Foundation’s typical grant size,” said Lindsay B. Meyer, president of the Venable Foundation.

Robert L. Waldman, vice president of the Venable Foundation, added, “The Foundation is working to sustain and grow nonprofit capacity to address learning disruptions that have been experienced over the past school year through rigorous tutoring and other intensive educational supports to make up for any learning losses.”

  • Elev8 Baltimore has been partnering with schools, families, and the community to ensure that every student is prepared for school, college, and a career. This is accomplished through strategic opportunities that impact student outcomes, family engagement and leadership, and the health and wellness of youth. Funds will help Elev8 to expand its comprehensive academic tutoring to six Baltimore City public schools.
  • Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) serves 2,100 youth, ages 6 through 24, through its transformational after-school program, which includes core academics, a full music program, a visual arts department, and athletic leagues. Funding will help HOLA ramp back up to pre-COVID-19 in-person numbers and will position the organization to reinstate its first-grade class, provide additional academic services, and integrate new technology into classrooms to help close the education gap.
  • Reading Partners Los Angeles provides one-on-one literacy tutoring for kindergarten through fourth grade students from under-resourced schools. Funding will help with the costs associated with a hybrid digital/in-person model. This includes hot spots for the AmeriCorps members, resources for students, licenses for online assessments, and programs and technology enhancements, such as larger monitors for guided learning.
  • Springboard Collaborative exclusively serves children from low-income communities who are furthest behind grade-level expectations in reading, providing 90 minutes to three hours of daily instruction outside of school hours. This year, funding will help the organization to grow its presence from 4 to 12 public schools in New York City.
  • City Year New York (CYNY) partners with systemically under-resourced schools to help bridge the gap between what students need and what most schools are equipped to provide. In collaboration with the NYC Office of Community Schools, CYNY will be expanding to 18 schools this year.
  • Reading Partners San Francisco Bay Area empowers students to develop mastery of key reading skills through data-informed, curriculum-driven tutoring led by trained volunteers. Impact grant funding will assist with the purchase of technology to make hybrid learning possible.
  • Good Samaritan Family Resource Center has partnered with the San Francisco Unified School District to support families experiencing disparities in school readiness and academic achievement to improve outcomes. This fall, Good Samaritan will begin to address these learning disparities by providing academic support to 100 high-need students facing learning struggles, school disconnection, and cultural and linguistic isolation.
  • The Literacy Lab’s mission is to address inequities by providing children from low-income households with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. In the 2021-22 school year, the Literacy Lab will be scaling its programming in the metropolitan DC area and Baltimore City to meet the growing needs of students in both regions.
  • City Year DC partners with systemically under-resourced schools to help bridge the gap between what students need and what most schools are equipped to provide. For the 2021-22 school year, an expanded list of 20 schools will receive embedded services to meet the growing demand. An anticipated 6,000 students are expected to participate in City Year programs, with the majority residing in Wards 7 and 8. On average, these students will receive 15 additional hours of tutoring, coaching, or intervention throughout the school year.  

The Venable Foundation was established in 1983 to support a wide variety of charitable, civic, and cultural endeavors, and serve public interest law needs in our communities. In the past 12 years, the Venable Foundation has granted more than $32 million to worthy organizations that provide critical support to those in need. These include children's services and funding for disadvantaged families and individuals; homeless shelters and food programs; community organizations, hospitals, hospices, and local chapters of national health organizations; and educational, artistic, and cultural events and organizations. In 2020 alone, the Foundation awarded more than $4.1 million in grants to 353 nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The Foundation is funded by the partners of Venable LLP.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, high-net-worth entrepreneurs, and other individuals. With more than 850 professionals across the country, including in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' objectives in the United States and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines. For more information, please visit