EEP Secures $1.4M for Unique Afterschool Partnerships

Just recently, the Ohio Department of Education announced this year’s recipients of the highly competitive 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) grants. Ohio received 300 applications and issued 107 awards. Seven awards, totaling almost $6 million over five years, went to EnvisionEdPlus (EEP) partners with unique collaborations aligned to community needs and resources.  

Success After 6

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley teamed up with Youngstown City School District and Youngstown Community School to scale the United Way’s signature Success After 6 program across five of the city’s most challenged elementary schools.  “We are beyond excited and grateful to receive these 21st Century grants in partnership with the Youngstown City School District and Youngstown Community School.  This crucial funding will allow us to expand our Success After 6 program to reach even more children and families,” said Bob Hannon, President of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.  “These grants are a testament to our Success After 6 program which will go from two schools to seven this year.  We will continue to fight for our students and their families, and by working together we will win for our community.” 

Success After 6 provides wrap-around services to help break down barriers many of the students and their families face on a daily basis.  United Way works in partnership with the each school to help the students achieve success.  The program helps students realize their potential and encourages them to excel in the classroom by providing academic intervention, enrichment and strong mentoring from local Champions (many of whom are Youngstown State University students).  With the convening power of the United Way, a wide variety of community partners come to the table to best serve the children and their families.  With the infusion of 21CCLC funds for five of the seven program schools, Success After 6 will now include before school mentoring and homework help, deeper academic and enrichment programs and expanded wrap around services for Youngstown families supporting more than 625 at-risk children in grades K-6.  

Urban Farming and Mentoring

Faith in Action, a nonprofit community development corporation, Faith Ministries Church and Lead the Way Learning Academy will partner to provide an extended learning program to 50 students in grades 6-8, primarily from Columbus City School District’s Mifflin Middle School. In addition to high quality academic intervention and enrichment in literacy and math, Faith in Action will work in partnership with Lead the Way Learning Academy and several community agencies to provide quality, skill-based, character education programs and college and career readiness opportunities. Mentorship will be a key component of youth development activities, including the development of an urban farm business. EEP also assisted these partners in securing a Community Connectors grant that will be embedded within this program to further expand mentoring and entrepreneurship exploration for Mifflin students.

Health, Harmony and Service

Par Excellence Academy, located in Newark, is a small community school serving nearly 180 children in grades K-5. Par’s mission is to provide an inspiring educational environment built on the principles of health, harmony, and service for families of elementary children. EnvisionEdPlus connected Par with Kiddie Academy, a Reynoldsburg based preschool and child care center with many years’ experience supporting Hannah Ashton Middle School’s (HAMS – Reynoldsburg City Schools) highly successful 21CCLC program. Together, Par and Kiddie Academy are adapting the HAMS/Kiddie Academy 21CCLC framework to meet the needs of 46 children and their families while continuing  the schools’ core mission of health, harmony and service.  This effort will be further supported by a Martha Holden Jennings grant Par received this summer. STEMsonic PARPonics! will introduce aquaponics for all  Par Excellence students and teachers during the school day and these resources will also be used to deepen afterschool and summer learning.

Connecting the Dots

EnvisionEdPlus was deeply involved in the design and development of all seven programs, not just as grant writers – but as thought partners, instructional designers and networkers. Our partners see the greatest EEP value add is our team’s ability to ‘connect the dots’.  We help schools and communities think differently about how they support children – and each other.  As we identify gaps in need, resources or programming, EEP team members make connections to other partners who can fill the gaps.   All of these new programs will be starting this fall. As they begin, we will highlight their successes, challenges and lessons learned.  Through these stories, our learning community can increase its understanding of what it takes to create, implement and sustain high quality programming for Ohio’s most vulnerable youth – setting the stage so all youth thrive – in school and beyond.  

For more information, to visit any of these programs, or to request support in designing your own projects, contact us.  We are always ready to provide assistance.

~ Michele Timmons, President

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