The Education Dept. (DoEd) names six winners of the 2016 Promise Neighborhoods competition, which will award $33 million to help communities launch, scale and maintain community-based education projects to help underserved children.
The Promise Neighborhoods program, launched in 2010, funds new strategies that bring together public and private partners to help break the cycle of poverty. Promise Neighborhoods grantees provide comprehensive education, health, safety, and family support services to children and families in high-poverty neighborhoods.
This year’s grantees include organizations that will implement Promise Neighborhoods in urban and rural areas. For the first time, one grantee will serve an Indian tribe. The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians will reorganize their community’s elementary and high school programs to ensure all students are prepared to master grade-level content.
The award amounts reflect the first year of funding, with additional years subject to future Congressional appropriations. Among the winners are three grantees who will build on their prior Promise Neighborhood-funded efforts by partnering with new communities: Berea College in Kentucky (2011 grantee); Delta Health Alliance in Mississippi (2012 grantee); and Youth Policy Institute in California (2012 grantee).
The 2016 Implementation Grant Winners: Kentucky, Berea College, $6 million; New Jersey, Center for Family Services, Inc., $6 million; Mississippi, Delta Health Alliance, Inc., $6 million; Pennsylvania, Drexel U., $6 million; California, Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, $2.7 million and the California, Youth Policy Institute, $6 million.
Based in Los Angeles, the Youth Policy Alliance (https://goo.gl/cXjUoC) was given funding to support and expand it’s earlier work to address the needs of the city’s high-poverty communities. For example, prior to start of each academic year, staff will work with school administrators to create a preliminary target list of at-risk students based on attendance, behavior, and proficiency (ABP assessment scale) with students ranked into high, medium, and lower need. The project will hire four school social workers to spearhead this effort (one each for elementary and middle, and two for high schools).
Also, all target schools have a significant proportion of English Learners (ranging from 15% to 65%). The majority of principals indicated that EL reclassification is a challenge area. Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners will provide two annual teacher professional development institutes to strengthen instruction for ELs.
Further, the California Emerging Technology Fund’s School2Home program closes the achievement gap and digital divide by providing computing devices for students in classroom and at home. Families In Schools will support literacy attainment in elementary schools, ensuring children are on track in ELA by third grade is an indicator of academic success.
To date, the Promise Neighborhoods program has awarded over $286 million, spanning nearly 700 schools and 1,000 community partners.
In communities like San Antonio, for example, the Eastside Promise Neighborhood has implemented a series of supports to address the lack of opportunity for young men of color as part of their Promise Neighborhood grant. They have provided access to 21st century learning opportunities, such as providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for all students in grades pre-K-8 to improve problem-solving abilities.
Info: https://goo.gl/MNVSlq (website)