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What We Support

Our approach

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is committed to sustaining vibrant, healthy communities where all people have the opportunities and means to achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world. Through our grants, we support effective organizations that are creating significant, lasting and transformational change either through smart and innovative responses to today’s needs or through systematic solutions that address the root causes of economic and societal challenges.

KIPP DC. Photo Credit Kris Tripplaar

A quality education is the foundation for self-sufficiency, preparing young people for success in life. Yet, education progress in the U.S. has stagnated and the achievement gap between students from high and low-income families continues to widen. Education reform is an urgent and necessary endeavor that is key to providing young people with the opportunities to achieve their dreams and overcome generational poverty.

The Foundation is committed to helping reverse this trend through our education reform efforts in Washington, D.C. Many bright and inspiring leaders have committed themselves to ensuring that the most at-risk students gain access to quality education. For all areas where obstacles remain, there are also great opportunities for educators to demonstrate what can work.

Our education goal is for all of D.C.’s children—regardless of the school they attend—to be equipped with the building blocks for lifelong learning and healthy social-emotional development. We support high-performing schools and evidence-based programs that have the capacity to make dramatic educational gains for all students in Washington, DC. Our commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities spans from early childhood through secondary education. 

Early Childhood Development

Our goal is for every child in Washington, D.C., to have a smooth transition into kindergarten, prepared for school academically, socially, and emotionally.

Quality Teachers and Leaders

We believe that the most direct method to improve student outcomes is to ensure schools are staffed with qualified, empowered teachers and leaders who are committed to constantly improve their teaching.

Quality K-12 Academics

Through increasing the number of quality seats available to students, and investing in academic support programs, we work to close the achievement gap and help every child achieve grade-level proficiency in reading and math.

College and Career Readiness

We strive to ensure that each student who graduates high school is ready for their next step—either prepared to succeed in the workplace or to excel at a college or university. The Foundation also supports a range of colleges and universities in their efforts to improve students’ overall educational experiences.

Grantee Highlight

Urban Teacher Center takes away the unpredictability in teacher hiring by ensuring that every participant who completes their teacher preparation program is effective. more
Higher Achievement provides a rigorous afterschool and summer academic program that closes the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. more
Literacy Lab provides low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. more
College Success Foundation provides scholarships and mentoring to address the critically low college graduate rates of the students in the public and public charter schools of DC, particularly in Wards 7 and 8.  more