KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize

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About the KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize

The KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize rewards students engaged in new or ongoing work that demonstrates a commitment, whether in education or other domains, to creating a better future for children and youth. The award of $2,500 is given to one UC Berkeley undergraduate student each year.  The Prize recognizes students who have developed innovative strategies to increase opportunities for children and youth, as well as students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the future of children and youth. The intent of the prize is to shine a light on a student whose work has gone largely unrecognized.

Selection Process

Students apply by submitting a resume, two letters of support, and an essay of up to 1,000 words describing their innovation and/or ongoing engagement. More details and selection criteria are on the application. Submissions involving apps, models and pilot projects are welcome. All registered undergraduate students at UC Berkeley are eligible to apply.

Download an application form here.

Applications are due via email to by October 28, 2019.
Applicants will be notified within three months. An award ceremony will be held in the spring.

For more information contact Dr. Deborah Lustig: dlustig AT, 510-643-7238.

About David L. Kirp

David KirpA faculty member at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, since 1971, David Kirp, professor of the Graduate School, is a policy consultant and a contributing writer to the New York Times as well as an academic. In his seventeen books and scores of articles, in both the popular press and scholarly journals, he has tackled some of America’s biggest social problems, including affordable housing, access to health, gender discrimination and AIDS. Throughout his career, his main focus has been on education and children’s policy, from cradle to college and career.  His latest book, Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools, was named outstanding book of 2013 by the American Education Research Association. The book chronicles how an urban school district has brought poor Latino immigrant children, many of them undocumented, into the education mainstream. His previous book, Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming the Lives of Children, makes a powerful argument for building systems of support that reach from cradle to college and career. It won the National School Board Journal award for the best education book of 2011. The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics analyzes why early education has emerged as a national priority. It received the Association of American Publishers Award for Excellence. David Kirp serves as a member of the board of Friends of the Children and on the international advisory committee of Escuela Nueva, a Colombia-based nonprofit that in the past quarter-century has educated millions of children in the developing world. 

Read about Past Winners Here

To Support the Prize

To make a gift in support of the prize, please visit the online giving site.

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
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