Federal Relief Funds Will Cultivate Community Partnerships to Benefit Students

Beverly Cantrell - October 10, 2021 2:10 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is using $21 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds over three years to develop and expand high-quality afterschool and summer programs. The OSDE will award competitive grants to schools and community organizations that partner to provide services designed to address students’ academic, social and emotional needs.

“Local partnerships between schools and community organizations can provide targeted support for students who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “These grant dollars will fund locally designed solutions to best fit the needs of students and families in a certain community. We are excited to see what these partnerships will create.”

Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000, and funds must be used to establish or expand comprehensive afterschool and evidence-based summer learning and enrichment.

As required by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, OSDE must use 1% of the state’s total ARP funds on evidence-based summer enrichment programs and 1% on evidence-based comprehensive afterschool programs. Oklahoma received almost $1.5 billion in ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

Eligible applicants for the competitive grant include nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, private schools and public schools. Each application must be submitted jointly between at least one public or private community organization and one school district. Learn more about the application requirements in the Notice of Grant Opportunity.

OSDE will host an informational webinar on the application process and timeline on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. More information on the webinar, along with all communication and deadlines, are available at sde.ok.gov/expanded-learning.

Due to the competitive nature of this application process, questions should be directed in writing to the Paige Johnson, OSDE Grant Specialist in the Office of Family and Community Engagement, at [email protected].

The High-Quality Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Initiative is a component of  Ready Together Oklahoma: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond. Additional guidance on high quality programming and community partnerships can be found at readytogether.sde.ok.gov.


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