United Way of the Wabash Valley today announced the second round of mini-grant awards of over $30,000 from their Youth Success Impact Council. These grants assist school-aged children from grades K-12 who are struggling with attendance or staying engaged while in class.
The Council developed the Youth Success Student Engagement mini-grant program, for awards up to $5,000 each, for community organizations or schools to develop programs to enhance student engagement in their current education forum (real, virtual or in-home) and work to improve long-term student attendance rates. After a successful first round of Student Engagement mini-grants, the Council wanted to expand its offering to more organizations. Today there are 9 organizations that are receiving mini-grants, all totaling over $30,000. The goal of the awardees’ programs is to strengthen student 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. The awardees and programs include:
- Chances and Services for Youth – CAMP Rave – A summer camp that provides K-5 students with multiple activities, utilizing various local partnerships to educate children on the environment, arts, literacy, STEM, and wellness.
- Davis Park Elementary School – Therapy Dog Program – Expands their therapy dog program to enhance the reading skills of K-5 students.
- Farrington Grove Elementary School – IXL Digital Engagement – Assesses student needs and allows teachers to provide whole-class instruction to intervene in trouble spots before they become misconceptions.
- Otter Creek Middle School – SPED Community Based Instruction – Program that provides students the opportunity to build skills in a community setting that will help them transition to fulfilling independent adult lives.
- South Vermillion Community Schools – Summer Reading/STEM Tutoring Program – Summer STEM and reading program for students flagged as needing further intervention.
- Southwest Parke Schools/Rosedale Elementary – Bridging the Gap – After-school program focused on providing students with an environment to allow students to learn STEM and reading courses.
- Southwest School Corporation – Sullivan Middle School Leadership Class – Leadership class taught by a licensed school counselor to boost students’ social-emotional skills and personal development.
- Sullivan Elementary – Positive Behavior Picks – Program that creates an “economy” for students to promote positive student behavior. Staff provides currency based on merit, which students can spend on goodies.
- Terre Town Elementary – Tiger Cub Camp – Bi-weekly program where students come to school in the evening and participate in a themed activity incorporating local businesses.
Don E. Richards, Youth Success Impact Council member stated, “Given the amount of support many students need right now, our council felt it was important to provide an opportunity for the second round of funding. We continue to be impressed by the unique programs that organizations are offering students to help them engage in learning. After such a challenging year, we know that we cannot lose sight of preparing children for future success, and we must support them in new and creative ways.”
The Youth Success Impact Council’s vision is 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. With this investment, they are working to provide supports for children, families, and educators to prepare our youth to be responsible, reliable, and respectful individuals, and is an important step in the United Way’s bold goal of moving 10,000 families out of struggle and into stability.