COVID-19 Innovation Fund
The COVID-19 Innovation Fund was established in August of 2020 to support the safe operation of Wellesley Public Schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund was launched with an initial contribution of $250,000 from WEF's endowment.
To date, the COVID-19 Innovation Fund has provided over $600,000 to facilitate weekly SARS-CoV-2 testing for staff and students, and has allowed Wellesley to implement one of the first public-school viral testing pilot programs in the nation: The Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School Pilot Testing Program.
As part of a larger, multi-town collaborative effort in which diverse communities across the state have worked together to develop a framework for SARS-CoV-2 testing in public schools (The Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School Testing Collaborative), the success of Wellesley's program has helped pave the way for other MA school districts to implement testing programs, prompting the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to announce its support for pooled testing across all K-12 public schools. Learnings from the pilot program have the potential to create a pathway for better, more cost-effective testing and safe school openings across the U.S.
Commitment to Equity
Universal access to testing, regardless of financial means, is a core tenant of the Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School Testing Collaborative. It is our belief that Wellesley bears a civic responsibility to lead the charge in pioneering such a program, and to further advocate for funding to deliver equivalent programs in some of the hardest hit communities, so that their children may safely return to school. Those who would like to provide assistance to other communities should consider a donation to the Life Science Cares COVID-19 Response Fund.
Life Science Cares is a collective effort of the Life Science industry to eliminate the impact of poverty on communities in the greater Boston area. The organization provides human and financial resources to the most efficient and effective service organizations in greater Boston, and responded to requests from WEF and the Testing Collaborative to provide help in delivering testing programs for Chelsea and Revere.