Education programs with strong student track records of high impact and excellent outcomes reflect the core of The Powell Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio. For the foundation’s 2020 grants in education, Powell gave over $5.6 million to improve the public education systems in Harris, Travis, and Walker Counties.

In 2018, E3 Alliance received the initial grant from Powell to help expand Ready, Set, K!, the first student-centered, multi-competency assessment standard for school readiness approved by the state of Texas. With their $25,000 grant, we reached more educators, teaching them how to gather more accurate student data through authentic assessment, group children for differentiated instruction, and align instruction to pre-K guidelines. Ready, Set, K! helped close the school readiness gap, while shaping legislation and guiding budget decisions to support young learners.

Powell’s investment into E3 Alliance initiatives and programs has grown each year to the most recent $150,000 annual award. Today they are a major investor in our education backbone role in Central Texas, expanding support to Lift Literacy Up and the ACE attendance campaign. Read about both of these initiatives in our 2022 Blueprint Report (pages 14 and 24) 

Recently Powell completed a strategic planning process that reemphasized its commitment to children and youth, ensuring those especially furthest from opportunity receive an excellent cradle-to-career education that prepares them for meaningful employment and lifelong success. The most recent articulation of Powell’s strategy seeks to engage nonprofit organizations, policymakers, and other partners in creating seamless and integrated educational pathways.

“The Foundation has long sought to increase the impact of its efforts within our communities by connecting people and programs and through other collective efforts. We consider this a multiplier effect,” explained Executive Director Eleisha Nelson-Reed. “It is our goal to amplify such efforts in ways that increase coordination of the systems that prepare and support a child’s educational journey.”

Karl Nichols, E3 Alliance’s Vice President of Development, said “Eleisha is a visionary leader, creative strategist, and collaborative problem-solver. We are thrilled to work with her and the entire Powell team to ensure we instill a positive impact on our Central Texas students.”  

Visit our 2022 Blueprint Summit website to learn more about our work this past year.