News and Stories

The F. M. Kirby Foundation believes in the importance of equitable access to high quality educational opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds. Such access equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. To these ends, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that foster academic, personal, and professional growth, so individuals are empowered to become active participants in their lives and communities. Within the Education program area, specific strategies include:

Alma Mater Support:

Grants to family members’ or Directors’ alma mater institutions.

Civics & History Education

The Foundation believes that a robust civic education leads to a more active and engaged citizenry. Unfortunately, there has been a diminished emphasis on civics education in recent years, leaving fewer Americans prepared to take on the rights and responsibilities required to preserve our democratic institutions. Grants in this category elevate and advance the subjects of history, government, and civics through high quality curriculum, professional development, and communities of practice, both in and out of school.


The Foundation is committed to supporting the next generation of Fred Morgan Kirbys who are inspired to use their entrepreneurial vision to tackle the significant challenges of our era. Grants in this category allow these visionaries to apply their entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, and business acumen to pursue ventures that are both financially viable and will have a measurable impact on their communities.

Equitable Educational Access & School Choice:

The Foundation believes that every family should have the ability to select the educational option that best suits their needs and preferences. Grants in this category support programs and institutions that are addressing barriers that have historically hindered some students from accessing their preferred educational resources, opportunities, and support. This includes expanding access to quality pre-K, strengthening and diversifying the educator workforce, and expanding high quality school options in the form of charter and college preparatory schools.

Special Education & Educational Support Services:

The Foundation celebrates the diverse learning styles, abilities, and preferences of learners of all ages. Whereas our access and choice category recognizes the need for varied educational models, the support category recognizes the need to meet learners where they are within those models, so that they can discover their individual academic skills and become self-sufficient, life-long learners. Grants in this category support programs that complement or supplement a student’s traditional, in school education or offer differentiated instruction for students with learning differences.

Grantee Spotlight: Student U
Grantee Spotlight: Student U

The F. M. Kirby Foundation is pleased to celebrate 10 years of continuous partnership with Student U, a community organization in Durham, North Carolina that uses the power of education, advocacy, and leadership to build a more just and equitable Durham community. Student U endeavors to empower and equip first-generation college students in Durham Public Schools. Since its founding, Student…