The Rodel Foundation provides seed funding to innovative, high-impact programs. Our philosophy of change is to foster catalytic investments that ultimately – if proven successful – become embedded in our public education system and are supported through a more diverse mix of public and private funding. We seek to use our resources (less than one percent of the public education funding) as a lever to strengthen the entire system. We identify systemic leverage-points with other partners and stakeholders through which a small spark can make a significant impact for the children of Delaware. The following examples demonstrate this philosophy in action.
Innovative Schools is a nonprofit that empowers educators and communities to adopt modern school models proven to inspire passionate teaching and learning. By providing a catalytic investment, Rodel helped incubate this organization that is now promoting and implementing replicable new school models throughout the state and helping schools hire outstanding teachers. For Delaware’s highest-need schools, Innovative Schools trains future leaders (through a program called Delaware Leadership Project) and provides school operations support.
Teach For America – Delaware
Teach For America recruits a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement to work to expand educational opportunity, starting by teaching for two years in a low-income community – including those in Delaware. Rodel worked with state and local leaders to catalyze the launch of TFA Delaware in 2009, and its work is now supported by public funding. To date, TFA Delaware is serving more than 2,500 students in high needs schools by filling high-need classrooms with passionate, high-achieving individuals who will do whatever it takes to help their students succeed.