Rationale for our Mission

In 2012, the Board of Directors of the Tauck Family Foundation approved a new mission and strategy.

We seek to be a learning organization that manages its own performance and learns from its focus on helping organizations achieve outcomes for Bridgeport children. We expect that there will be significant learning opportunities as we select and work with our portfolio of investees, to achieve this mission. For now, in an effort to be as transparent as possible, we have provided preliminary answers to the following questions about our new direction:

  1. Why social investing and performance management?

  2. Why social and emotional learning?

  3. Why early childhood through middle school students?

  4. Why family engagement?

  5. Why Bridgeport, Connecticut?

Why social investing and performance management?

In 2012, the Tauck Family Foundation Board of Directors went through an intensive strategic planning and Theory of Change workshop and unanimously voted to adopt our new mission and strategy. We were guided in this work by a strong desire to help create better outcomes for young people from low-income families and focus our efforts in a way that would strengthen our non-profit investees over time. In essence, this shift called for the Tauck Family Foundation to move from a charitable giving approach and instead become a social investor.

Why social and emotional learning?

There is a growing, national interest in developing social and emotional competencies in young people to help them do well in school and successfully navigate into adulthood. These skills include self-control, persistence, mastery orientation, academic self-efficacy, and social competence. Strong research and practice are showing that without these essential skills, even students who receive rigorous academic instruction are at risk of not achieving their goals. This goes for young people from all socio-economic strata, but is especially true for young people from low-income backgrounds, who often face more intractable obstacles.

Why early childhood through middle school?

Increasing evidence has shown that that the same social and emotional skills that predict success in elementary school also lead to better prospects in adolescence and adulthood— and that it is better to learn these skills sooner than later, including in early childhood. We believe that if children develop social and emotional skills during this critical period of early childhood and elementary school they will be more likely to retain these skills in middle school and persist in their educations.

Why family engagement?

In order for social and emotional efforts to be successful, families must be meaningfully engaged as partners in this work. Parents and families are critical partners in helping their children develop social and emotional competencies. They can model skills, attitudes, and be important advocates for SEL at school and beyond.

Why Bridgeport, Connecticut? 

The Tauck Family Foundation has focused its resources on investing in organizations that are working with children from low-income families, exclusively in one city: Bridgeport, Connecticut. While Bridgeport is the largest and lowest performing school district in the state with the widest achievement gap in the country, it is also a city with great potential, ripe for change and opportunity.