United Way of the Wabash Valley today announced a new grant opportunity issued from their Youth Success Impact Council aimed at assisting school-aged children from grades K-12 who are having issues regarding attendance or staying engaged while in class. The Youth Success Council believes that all Wabash Valley youth should gain the knowledge, skills, and character development to succeed in kindergarten through high school and be prepared for the next step in their journey. Their goals are to make an impact in the community by investing in efforts to empower youth to be responsible, reliable, and respectful individuals through their support of innovative programs and initiatives.
Education professionals understand that the first step for youth success is for students to be present in the classroom and engaged in learning. They recognize chronic absenteeism as a major concern in area schools and nationally. While tracking reduced absenteeism will be a long-term measure of success in the council’s work, the current COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges that require creative solutions for student engagement in education.
This has prompted the Youth Success Council to develop a grant that will focus on proposals put forth by community organizations or schools that will enhance student engagement in their current education forum (real, virtual or in-home) and work to improve long-term student attendance rates. Project proposals will enhance student engagement, interest and enthusiasm in their studies, as well as improved attendance, all of these outcomes contributing to better overall educational experience and readiness for our youth. Proposals can target any age group or grade level and may take place at home or at a school, so long as there is approval by the principal. The projects may also serve any number of students, though the project must have a clear aim at students who are at risk of or have demonstrated a record of high absenteeism or have become disengaged from their studies. Proposals must also be structured to provide sustained development; working with students over time. Proposals that suggest a one-time event structure will not be eligible.
Liz Metzger, Youth Success Impact Council member stated, “As the saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and at the heart of that village are our schools. When our schools were closed this past spring it became abundantly clear just how much the entire community relies on our schools to fulfill a myriad of services over and above educating our youth. Through the pandemic, teachers and school staff have rallied to see that those services – education and family support – have continued. The intent of this grant is to support area schools, their staff and teachers, in their efforts to support students and their families to ensure EVERY student stays engaged in their learning.”
The Youth Success Impact Council has made available $60,000 in funding for this initiative, and applicants may apply for $2,000 to $5,000 per program. Funds must be used within a year of funding approval. The deadline to apply is November 20th. For the full list of requirements and application details visit uwwv.org/funding.