INDIANA – The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is now accepting applications to fund community and school partnerships through Indiana’s new Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund. With the goal of accelerating student learning, $27.5 million is now available through the grant’s second funding round.
Created this year through House Enrolled Act 1008, the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund allocated $150 million to support accelerated learning plans, with a focus on partnerships between community organizations, education service centers, higher education institutions and K-12 schools. Applications for the first round of state grant funding opened in April 2021, with more than $122 million awarded over the summer to more than 110 school and community partnerships across the state, serving students in 83 of Indiana’s 92 counties.
This grant provides an important financial resource to schools and community partners, with research showing that the academic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are substantial. According to research from IDOE and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (Center for Assessment), the academic impact ranges from moderate to significant across schools, academic subjects and demographic groups.
Many recipients of the first round of funding began deploying their grant funds as part of summer and fall learning, and are continuing to use their grants to accelerate student learning outside of the typical school day, including:
Boys & Girls Club of Seymour: “Our programming opened on August 9, 2021. Since then we have served 84 unduplicated members, with an average daily attendance of 75. We are housed within Brownstown Elementary School in Brownstown, Indiana. Our members range in age from four to 13 and participate in high-yield learning activities, art, sports and a variety of other activities.” -Amanda Williams, Director of Impact, Boys & Girls Club of Seymour
United Way of Central Indiana: “The pandemic has exacerbated already large academic disparities, particularly for students of color and children from low-income households. In response, organizations across Indianapolis joined together to launch Indy Summer Learning Labs, a community-wide effort to accelerate learning for 3,000 of our city’s most marginalized students. We are proud of the significant learning gains achieved this summer and look forward to serving even more students next year. None of this would have been possible without the foresight of our state leaders to create the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program.” – Brandon Brown, CEO at The Mind Trust, and Ann Murtlow, CEO at United Way of Central Indiana
United Way of Grant County: “My daughter, Bree, a fourth-grader at Eastside Elementary School, participated with the Fall Math Academy and absolutely loved it! I was trying to explain the program to her older siblings and I made the mistake and called it school and she quickly corrected me and said, ‘No, mom, it is not school…it’s way cooler and engaging!’ She was nervous about not knowing any of the children, but she saw a few old friends and made many new friends. She said, ‘I hope they do this again!’” – Rachel Steele, Parent
Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington County: “This summer is the first time we ran evidence-based math programming with our youth, and are excited to see how it helps with the start of the school year. We served 20 students going into grades three, four, and five, and they logged 221 hours of learning through the Let’s Go Learning program.” – Mandy Reber, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington County
Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County: “With funds from the Student Learning Recovery Grant, we have grown our after-school program from 11 to 23 sites, serving five school districts and 1,498 Club members across St. Joseph County. We currently have a waitlist of over 80 families waiting to participate. In August, we hired and trained 95 new staff members, placing them across our 23 sites. The goals of our programming during that month were to establish relationships between unit directors and staff, between staff and our club members, and between the club and our school and programming partners. In September, we kicked off the assessment phase of our program across all sites in order to establish a baseline in both literacy and math fluency. Our goal is for 80% of students to improve at least one grade level by the end of the school year.” – Lindahl Chase, Director of Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County
Interested applicants should first review all grant requirements here, including ensuring all applicants are registered with the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office, the Auditor’s Office, and the Indiana Department of Administration. They can then submit their online application, along with an application narrative, budget summary, and budget narrative here. Applications are due November 28, 2021. Questions about the program or the process may be directed to CommunityLearningGrant@doe.in.gov.