Shout out to Memphis Stand Outreach Coordinator Paul Gardner on being accepted in The Education Trust in Tennessee’s School Finance Institute! Here’s what he had to say about being selected to participate in this spring’s cohort class.

“I’m so happy to be a part of The Education Trust Finance Institute! I’m looking forward to expanding my working knowledge of how school funding works in Tennessee and share that info with parents, educators, and community members that supports Stand for Children so that we can effectively strategize and advocate for education equity at the local and state level. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to network with others across the state who are passionate about ensuring our students and schools have the funding they need and deserve!” -Paul Garner, Stand for Children-TN, Lead Outreach Coordinator.

About ED Trust’s Tennessee School Finance Institute:

The Education Trust in Tennessee is launching the Tennessee School Finance Institute to develop a cadre of well-informed advocates who want to learn about school finance and bring about meaningful funding reform for Tennessee students. Members are equipped with information, analysis, and practical skills to become leaders and strong advocates for school funding in Tennessee. Learn more about The Education Trust in Tennessee by visiting

As an education advocate and Stand supporter, you understand the need for students in Memphis and Shelby County to have equitable access to the tools they need to increase their chances of graduating high school prepared for college or a career. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the digital divide that exists in our community.

With schools being shuttered for the rest of the school year, learning and maintaining skills at home are the current focus for students and families – but that’s not possible without reliable internet access and electronic devices.

As many as 45% of households across Memphis and Shelby County lack internet access, and many students do not have devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) at home to support their learning. Every day a child goes without internet access is like missing a day of school. They cannot access resources they deserve for learning, and risk falling behind in their studies.

This Giving Tuesday, we are asking our supporters to join us in conquering the digital divide by donating to the YES Fund for COVID Relief. Your donation will help equip students with the devices and internet access they need, connecting them with teachers and with both local and worldwide learning opportunities.

Let’s bridge the digital divide to achieve equitable access and opportunity for our students and families together. Please consider making a donation today.