It was nearly a year ago that Remake Learning launched Tomorrow, a campaign that called us to forge a future where each day holds promise for every learner. From May to October of 2020, tens of thousands of educators, families, and young people shared their “something else” — their vision of what the future of learning could look like. In online discussions, in-depth stories, and more, they imagined a world where timeless ideas meet new ways of learning, preparing every learner for what comes next, no matter what tomorrow might bring.
They did this as a deadly pandemic raged, and as the brutality, indignities, and divisions that have been with us for centuries continued to haunt us again and again. It’s a testament to our neighbors’ humanity that amid it all, their belief in brighter tomorrows never dimmed. On the contrary, throughout the campaign, we heard an unflinching insistence on possibility — on the power of caring adults working side by side to support young people’s potential.
The past few months have made that power plain. Pittsburgh’s parents, educators, and everyday neighbors have shown up for children in surprising, even heroic ways. In Allegheny County’s Community Learning Hubs, educators of every type have joined forces to provide safe places for children to learn. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s OnRamp initiative brought educators together to improve remote teaching, while the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative fought to help families get the tools and technology they need. Trying Together and others created the Allegheny Child Care tool, helping parents and caregivers secure desperately needed child care spots. And Bridge to Learn made the region’s resources easier for families to find.
Powering all of this was community — our neighbors’ willingness to lend their unique strengths, wisdom, and vulnerabilities. Now, as vaccines slowly begin to turn back the pandemic, our task will be to sustain that community, building a future that’s more loving and more just than the yesterdays that came before.
That’s why today, we’re relaunching Tomorrow.
With a focus on supporting the many ways that educators, parents, and caregivers can engage with and uplift one another in service of young people, the campaign asks what we can do today to make tomorrow a more promising place. How might we…
- Team up to meet children’s many needs — the basic ones, and those beyond?
- Bring the knowledge and resources of whole communities to bear on children’s learning?
- Remake learning with wonder, joy, and justice, with human potential at the heart of all we do?
- Serve learners and families with love, championing their desires, their dreams, and their dignity?
Turning our answers into real, tangible change will take a concerted effort among us all. It will require confronting the ways we’ve messed up and the times we’ve fallen short. It will require listening to ourselves and to our neighbors. And it will require unlearning old methods, old assumptions, and old systems.
To that end, Tomorrow will offer resources and events that support bold thinking and courageous, collaborative action. In addition to giving away more than $1 million in Moonshot Grants — funding for radical projects designed to catapult the region toward more equitable tomorrows — you can expect to see in-depth stories, publications, and podcasts that explore the future of teaching and learning. And you’ll find new and exciting ways to join the conversation, whether you’re an educator, a parent, or a young person yourself.
You’ll also find the return of Remake Learning Days — not only here in Pittsburgh, but in 17 cities and regions across the United States. Taking place throughout April and May, Remake Learning Days Across America will bring more neighbors than ever into the conversation, sparking new ideas, new partnerships, and new ways of seeing and supporting our young people’s brilliance.
To be sure, the challenges ahead are as urgent and immense as those that came before. But we also believe that there’s plenty of reason to hope, recognizing, as always, that what sustains us through exceptional times are the essential qualities that make us human: Our capacity for love, the power of our relationships, and the strength we get from belonging to a society that works together to do so much more than any one of us can do on our own.
What comes next is up to us.
Author: Gregg Behr, Co-Chair of Remake Learning