Early Education Nonprofit Experiences a Year of Record Growth and Impact

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(Taylorsville, UT) October 4, 2021 — ended its fiscal year on August 31, generating historic growth of more than $55 million in annual revenue. The total marks a tripling of the organization’s performance over five years.

“I am thrilled with the engagement and performance of our teams as we pursue the aggressive goals we established as a TED 2019 Audacious Project and as a participant in the Studio @ Blue Meridian,” President and CEO Andy Myers said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of our work supporting children and families, and we are grateful to our employees, sponsors and partners for rising to meet the challenge and opportunity.”

The pandemic exposed and widened academic gaps among the nation’s schoolchildren. Waterford closed some of those disparities by expanding its Summer Learning Path (SLP), an opportunity for students entering kindergarten through 2nd grade to receive extra instruction in reading, math and science before starting school. Summer Learning Path launched in 2020 and has served nearly 20,000 students to date.

In fiscal year 2021, Waterford Upstart, the organization’s at-home kindergarten readiness program, served 32 states with either full-year or SLP programs, including 16 states the organization had not previously served. This fall, Waterford Upstart programs are in 18 states, including six states the organization had not previously served. Among those states is a unique partnership with New Mexico, which is one of the first to concurrently offer Waterford programs as both classroom and at-home prekindergarten supplements.

Retention and expansion underscore the strength of Waterford’s partnerships throughout the country. Those efforts included securing funding in South Carolina, which made Waterford Upstart available in 19 of the state’s 77 school districts, reaching 2,516 students—an all-time high for the organization’s work there. Overall, Waterford programs serve nearly 300,000 PreK to 2nd-grade students across the United States.

Waterford made progress with its work toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The organization:

  • ended fiscal year 2020 with one person of color on the board of trustees and finished fiscal year 2021 with three
  • ended fiscal year 2020 with 12 people of color on the management team and finished fiscal year 2021 with 16
  • ended fiscal year 2020 with nine Black employees and finished fiscal year 2021 with 25

The organization ended fiscal year 2021 with 313 employees.

Over the past several years, Waterford has partnered with Promise 54 to help with the organization’s recruitment for its Taking All Students to Success in Early Learning (TASSEL) advisory team; its DEI planning and execution; and its search for a senior vice president of equity and inclusion.

To support Waterford’s growth, the organization also added two members to its board of trustees:

  • Wayne Ysaguirre is the former president and CEO of Nurtury, a New England-based early learning agency, where he developed the nation’s first-of-its-kind Nurtury Learning Lab, designed to close the opportunity gap by ensuring that all children enter school equipped to succeed.
  • Ernest Blackwell is the founder and chief executive officer of Equity and Beyond (E&B), which strives to build a community of leaders who can lead collective equitable efforts in their organizations. He is the first to serve in the board’s TASSEL seat, a newly established, one-year, rotating commitment.

“We appreciate the generous support of Wayne, Ernest and all members of our board of trustees who contribute their valuable time and extensive talents to our work,” Myers said.


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