EXCLUSIVE: Putting their money together with their good intentions, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw are hoping to make this summer one to remember for Los Angeles school kids hit hard by the coronavirus.
Through their Hearthland Foundation, the Oscar winning director and the Love Letter actress have donated $1 million to kick off the L.A. Education Recovery Fund. With additional support from the Wasserman Foundation, Ballmer Group, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and others, the multi-year initiative aims to contribute $7 million to 55 non-profits offering enrichment programs, play and academic activities, consoling and more for up to 50,000 public school children from low-income backgrounds.
“Our kids in L.A. public schools are among those who have borne the brunt of a pandemic that laid bare and deepened the inequities that exist in our city and in our country,” Capshaw and Spielberg said today.
“The L.A. Education Recovery Fund is an opportunity to step up and surround them with the support they need,” the deeply philanthropic couple added. “L.A.’s kids are resilient and if we rally behind them, in partnership with families, educators and communities, we can do our part to help them get back on track.”
“The last 15 months and effects of the pandemic were incredibly challenging for our kids,” noted Dr. Ana Ponce, the Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now, which manages the L.A. Education Recovery Fund. “There has never been a more important time to invest in our students. Funding these summer enrichment programs is a necessary initial step towards a long recovery effort for students in Los Angeles.”
Fueled by funds from Spielberg and Capshaw and others, the L.A. Education Recovery effort will evolve out of the summer months to assist students in college prep and meeting career goals. The Fund has established relationships with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Earn, Learn, Play initiative, Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, California Community Foundation, Greater LA Education Foundation, LA 84 Foundation, and Play Equity Fund to further access and other opportunities for the children of the City of Angels.
“It’s inspiring and powerful to see the whole city coming together to support our students,” noted LAUSD Board Vice President, Nick Melvoin today. “The L.A. Education Recovery Fund’s investments in these vital enrichment opportunities is expanding equitable access to the fun, joyful summer experience that all our kids need after such a difficult school year.”