J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation awards $31 million in grants in 2013

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation awards $31 million in grants in 2013

Grants spark innovation and deliver resources to all students regardless of zip code

BOISE — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation ended 2013 providing more than $31 million in grants to nonprofit entities serving Idaho.

Foundation grants fuel education innovation and include contributions to more than 120 public, charter and alternative K-12 schools and districts across the state as well as every public university and community college in Idaho. To see the Foundation’s 2013 Annual Grant Report, click here.

Executive Director Jamie MacMillan said the Foundation’s continuous efforts to invest in Idaho students and educators furthers the legacy of her great grandparents, Joe and Kathryn Albertson. The giving strategy reflects the Foundation’s commitment to supporting innovative teachers and leaders, and increasing student achievement in Idaho. The Foundation’s goal applies regardless of zip code or economic status.

“Our family believes in Idaho,” MacMillan said. “We believe Idaho can be a leader in education innovation, especially in our rural locations. We are proud to collaborate with so many great educators around the state who continue to work hard to make this a reality.”

In the last year, the Foundation launched several new initiatives that are gaining national attention, including the first-in-the-nation statewide pilot of the Khan Academy. The Khan Academy in Idaho grant reaches more than 13,000 students at 47 K-12 schools in the Gem State.

The Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho (ROCI) brings big thinkers from Idaho and beyond to shine light on the challenges and opportunities of rural education. The education experts who form ROCI will help identify best practices and share timely and relevant models in ways that can be replicated as soon as possible.

The University of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University colleges of education were awarded grants to promote best practices in blended learning. The Doceõ Centers for Innovation + Learning — launched in spring 2013 — focus on the convergence of teaching strategies and technology. The centers will equip the next generation of Idaho teachers with a deep understanding of technology’s role in student learning and development.

In addition, five other college campuses around the state transformed the pathway to college for non-traditional students through the Continuous Enrollment pilot program, launched in 2011. Five hundred students are participating in programs at College of Southern Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University College of Technology, Lewis-Clark State College and North Idaho College are participating in the three-year initiative. Through research-based best practices, college retention rates among this population have increased 500 percent over the national average in the first year of the pilot.

Judith George, a North Idaho College adviser with the program, said a majority of students attend college unprepared.

“Our task is to better prepare students for their college experience,” George said. “It has been as important to discover what doesn’t work, as it has been to find what does.”

In the past 16 years, the Albertson Family Foundation has invested almost $600 million in Idaho education.

“We are very encouraged by the results we are seeing in our new collaborative initiatives such as the Khan Academy in Idaho, Doceõ and Continuous Enrollment,” MacMillan said. “We are confident that, in addition to working alongside Idaho’s most impressive educators and innovators, the grants awarded this year are making change.”

While statewide partnerships like Khan Academy in Idaho, ROCI, Doceõ and Continuous Enrollment are only a fraction of the Foundation’s $31 million in grants for 2013, we strongly believe these initiatives — among many others the Foundation supports — are a force for positive change in Idaho’s education landscape.


$3.3 million: Doceõ Centers for Innovation + Learning at Northwest Nazarene University and University of Idaho — Centers at both universities blend teaching and technology, equipping today’s teachers with a deep understanding of the role of technology in student learning.

$2.9 million: Idaho Leads Project — Working alongside the education community, Idaho Leads provides cutting edge professional development and builds leadership capacity in Idaho’s K-12 public schools.

$2.5 million: Khan Academy in Idaho — 47 schools participating in the first statewide pilot of Khan Academy in the U.S., which supplements everyday teaching practices via online tools in math.

$1.8 million: Continuous Enrollment in 2013 — Provides retention and completion support and financial assistance to disadvantaged and non-traditional students at five community colleges and technical programs in Idaho.

$1.2 million: Go On Schools Initiative — Providing resources and support to 20 Idaho middle and high schools committed to helping students Go On to education and training beyond high school.


The most recent grant of $1 million will go toward capital needs at the Salvation Army’s Marian Pritchett School Program for Pregnant and Parenting Girls in Boise. The unique school, founded in 1921, provides numerous programs that help the students complete high school and go on to post-secondary education.

Hillary Betz, director of development with the Salvation Army, said the organization is “exceedingly grateful” for the grant that will ensure the school’s doors stay open.

“This year, 100 percent of our senior girls are already enrolled at the College of Western Idaho and are ready to go on and further their education next fall,” Betz said. “Our licensed social worker helps provide the life skills and special types of support they need, including college preparedness counseling to succeed as both students and parents.”


To read a new blog by Executive Director Jamie MacMillan, click here.

To learn more about the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, click here.

About the Foundation: The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is a private philanthropy that invests in initiatives that measurably improve education in Idaho. In addition, the Foundation also supports Idaho-based non-profit programs. The Foundation accepts no unsolicited grants requests.