United Way Expands Education Grant Initiative

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United Way of Central Indiana has expanded a student success grant program. The organization says child care centers and charter schools in the neediest areas of central Indiana are now eligible for funding. Previously, the program only included public elementary schools. October 23, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – October 23, 2013 . . .Child care centers and charter schools in Central Indiana's neediest areas are now eligible to apply for United Way of Central Indiana's (UWCI) Student Success Grants along with under-performing public elementary schools, announced United Way today. In its second year, the program will award up to $750,000 overall to improve student outcomes.

The grants reward innovative reforms that are driven by teachers and principals who have been given autonomy to implement evidence-based improvement strategies. United Way is expanding eligibility beyond public elementary schools to extend the search for innovation and to build on its commitment to high quality early learning.

"Each of our education investments benefit thousands of children," said Ann D. Murtlow, UWCI's president and CEO. "But we're always looking for ways to have greater impact and for ideas that have the power to transform entire schools and neighborhoods. Very often, education professionals who work directly with children are an untapped source of transformative ideas. That notion is at the heart of this opportunity."

Grants for one to three years can range from $50,000 to $750,000. Schools must have less than 75 percent of students passing ISTEP math and English language assessments and have at least 30 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch. Child care centers must be nonprofit, on Level 3 or 4 of the State's Paths to QUALITY™ and have at least 30 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch.

In April, United Way's first Student Success Grants were awarded to: Sunnyside Elementary in Lawrence Township to fund an extended school day for 300 English learners, professional development for teachers and support for families; Snacks Crossing in Pike Township to help a large English learner and Special Education population improve performance; and, The Center For Inquiry III at IPS 27 to help the school become an International Baccalaureate World School where students take greater responsibility for their own learning and behavior.

Eligible schools in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Morgan counties must apply by January 16, and recipients will be announced March 27, 2014. To learn more, visit www.uwci.org/successgrant.

Overall, United Way is investing more than $5.1 million in elementary school strategies and child care quality improvement.

United Way's focus on education ties to its mission of helping people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives and with income, health and basic needs investments.

United Way of Central Indiana helps people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives. United Way gets things done by mobilizing people and community partners in six Central Indiana counties to identify, advance and advocate the best solutions. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to be part of the change. Visit uwci.org to learn more. Source: United Way of Central Indiana