Sharon Darling Innovation Fund

The Sharon Darling Innovation Fund exists to:
  • support the development of strong, positive relationships between families and schools or community organizations.
  • provide families with the resources and support they need to participate in literacy and learning activities, get involved in their communities, and develop leadership skills.
  • improve adult and child learning outcomes, including literacy and language skills, that lead to equitable, thriving families and communities.

2023 SDIF Family Learning System
Challenge Winners

The New York-based organization will deepen learning related to its science-themed telenovela-style mini-series, created in partnership with Univision. This grant will be used to create a workshop curriculum with families in Philadelphia and Dallas. The curriculum will bring to life STEM-related lessons from “La Fuerza de Familias Latinas.” The hands-on activities will encourage caregivers and children to develop science literacy, as well as build cognitive foundations of STEM learning.
Bright Beginnings serves families experiencing housing instability and financial hardship in Washington, D.C. The organization provides high-quality pre-kindergarten, Head Start and Early Head Start, and family wraparound services. Bright Beginnings will utilize this grant to create an Alumni Support Network for families whose children have transitioned to kindergarten and continue support through high school graduation.
Professors Xiangyou Shen, Ph.D. (College of Forestry) and Shauna Tominey, Ph.D. (College of Health) are teaming up through their work with the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families at Oregon State University to develop a program that encourages and empowers parents and caregivers to take a more playful approach to parenting. Parents and caregivers with preschool-aged children will help develop and evaluate the curriculum. Then, the “Playful Path to Parenting” will be deployed statewide through parent-educator training supported by the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative.