Early School Success webinar

Early School Success webinar

How donors and grantmakers can help young children recover learning and accelerate gains

In this CHIP webinar, learn how donors and grantmakers can support post-COVID learning recovery and accelerate gains among young children, ages 0-8.

Watch webinar video now:

In the video:

  • Learn how to support the whole child at school and home
  • Hear how to expand learning opportunities so that learning happens everywhere
  • Find strategies to ensure digital equity for all learning communities
  • Hear from funders in early childhood and K-5 education.


Rashanda Perryman, Kat Rosqueta, Ralph Smith, Sterling Speirn

About the Speakers:


Rashanda Perryman
Program Officer, Community Stewardship, Vanguard

Rashanda Perryman is a program officer in the Community Stewardship division at Vanguard where she uses her more than 20 years of experience in early childhood education programming and policy to co-lead the Strong Start for Kids grantmaking portfolio.


In this role, Rashanda proposes funding and evaluates support for programs that enable young children and families to thrive. Strong Start for Kids is Vanguard’s signature charitable initiative focused on providing funding and volunteer hours to offer children the opportunity to grow, thrive and learn, with a focus on improving kindergarten readiness Prior to joining Vanguard, Rashanda served in a similar role at the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia. Before entering the philanthropic field Rashanda worked in public policy at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., and the Ounce of Prevention Fund in Chicago. She began her career as a teacher and a case worker in child care subsidy and public assistance programs.

Rashanda co-chairs both the mayoral appointed city of Philadelphia’s A Running Start early learning committee and the national Early Childhood Funders Collaborative. Rashanda is a fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives, a founding committee member of the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle, and also serves as a board member of the Health Federation of Philadelphia.

Rashanda has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Clark Atlanta University and a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in public policy from the University of Texas at Arlington. Rashanda and her husband live outside Philadelphia with their two daughters.

Katherina ‘Kat’ Rosqueta
Founding Executive Director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy

Katherina ‘Kat’ M. Rosqueta is the founding executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and adjunct faculty in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2).


Before accepting her appointment to launch the Center, Kat was a consultant with McKinsey & Company; a consultant to the founding team of New Schools Venture Fund; founding director of Board Match Plus, a San Francisco program dedicated to strengthening nonprofit boards; and program manager of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Community Development Group.

She has held numerous civic leadership positions including board president of La Casa de las Madres (San Francisco’s oldest and largest shelter for battered women and their children), chair of the United Way’s Bay Area Week of Caring, and co-founder and executive committee member of the Women’s MBA Network. She is the chair of the board of Candid (merger of Foundation Center and Guidestar), the world’s largest source of information on nonprofits and foundations. In addition, she serves on the national board of Greenlight Fund, a venture philanthropy fund dedicated to addressing urgent social needs cities around the United States, and co-chairs Greenlight Fund Philadelphia.

Her work and comments have been cited in numerous publications including the New York Times, Slate, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She speaks frequently on social impact management and philanthropy and has lectured at the Wharton Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of California Haas School of Business, and the University of San Francisco’s Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management.

Kat received her B.A. cum laude from Yale University, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was the 2012 recipient of the Wharton Women in Business Kathleen McDonald Distinguished Alumna Award, a 2011 recipient of the Brava! Women Business Achievement Award, and the 2020 recipient of the Margaret Bailey Speer Award. She and her husband Michael Idinopulos live in Philadelphia with their three children.

Ralph Smith
Managing Director, Campaign for Grade Level Reading

Ralph Smith calls himself a “recovering law professor,” but he acknowledges that his background as a corporate and securities lawyer helped him to appreciate the role of markets and the private sector and the value of cross-sector collaboration.


Bringing together “unusual allies” and “unlikely champions” was a hallmark of Smith’s work at Casey, from his leadership in supporting fathers in their critical role in children’s lives to mobilizing communities to be change agents in improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families to promoting reforms that help ex-offenders become productive citizens.

“A significant part of my work involves finding that sliver of agreement between and among constituencies and growing that into common ground,” says Smith, who cultivates alliances around “common sense” principles that diverse partners can embrace. In Making Connections, for example, the initiative’s unifying theme was that children do well when their families do well and families do better when they live in supportive communities.

As managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading since 2010, Smith has been forging consensus around ensuring that children reach the critical developmental milestone of reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

Sterling Speirn
Interim CEO and President, Maine Community Foundation

Sterling Speirn is the sixth president of the Maine Community Foundation. He is former president and CEO of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Peninsula Community Foundation.