Transformative, Evidence-Based Ideas

Pods in Action: Black Mothers Forum

Case Study: How the Black Mothers Forum customized a microschool model to better meet the needs of Arizona’s Black families

Founded by mothers long concerned about the safety and welfare of their Black children, BMF is an Arizona-based education advocacy group that responded to the COVID-19 crisis by launching two microschools for Black families in Phoenix, Arizona, in January 2021. BMF partnered with Prenda, a well-known microschool provider, but adapted their model to better meet the needs of Black families.

Key Lessons
  1. Microschools provided Black families with a safe and affirming space for their children during the pandemic that was explicitly designed to address shortcomings these families perceived in their past experiences with school systems.
  2. How BMF adapted Prenda’s microschool model to better accommodate Black families offers important lessons for education leaders working inside and outside of districts to design learning environments around the needs and desires of Black families.
  3. Despite Arizona policies enabling tuition-free microschools, BMF had to raise money from other sources to pay for enhancements to the Prenda model, raising questions about financial stability.

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