Education Support (RISE)

We advance education equity for children experiencing foster care.

Children experiencing foster care face some of the largest educational opportunity gaps of any group of students in Massachusetts —  and these disparities can have lifelong effects.

Our newest program, RISE (Readiness • Inquiry • Scholarship • Education), is a first-of-its-kind approach that is specially-designed to meet the unique needs of students in grades K-3 who are experiencing foster care.

Through a combination of personalized, one-on-one tutoring and caregiver support, RISE provides children with the building blocks they need to become strong readers and writers.


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This year, we spent
47,175 minutes working on early literacy skills
with dozens of children and their caregivers
around Greater Boston!


How it Works

Increasing Access: Too often, tutoring and education support programs inadvertently exclude children experiencing foster care. RISE is home-based, so it moves with students, even if they change foster care placements or schools.

Providing High-Impact Tutoring: Students engage in tutoring sessions designed to meet their unique strengths and needs. RISE tutors use a custom-designed curriculum that is backed by research. They cover all of the key building blocks of early literacy — from phonics, to vocabulary, to reading comprehension, and more.

Taking a Holistic Approach: RISE tutors embed social-emotional supports into lessons and use activity-based learning that incorporates each child’s interests so they’re motivated to learn.

Supporting Caregivers: We work to ensure all caregivers in a child’s life — such as foster parents, biological parents, and kinship caregivers — are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to advocate for their child’s educational needs and support learning at home and at school.

Building Bridges: Our RISE team coordinates services and promotes information-sharing among families, schools, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), and other service providers.


Listen & Learn More About RISE

The Melissa & Lori Love Literacy podcast tackles new ways of thinking about how to teach reading and writing. It features literacy researchers and experts, teachers, leaders, parents, and advocates.



The Shah Family Foundation's Deep Dives podcast brings together experts to discuss the biggest issues impacting America's schools, and unpacks both root causes and innovative solutions.