The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) at Arkansas State University and its sponsored initiative, the Arkansas After School Networkawarded $1.8 million in U.S. Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER III funds to 30 summer and extended-year learning programs across the state through the U.S. Learning Supplemental Grant ‘summer.
The second round of federal ESSER III relief funding was allocated to mitigate student learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic to support social-emotional development. Grants range from $35,000 to $75,000 for the award period from May 15 to August 15. The summer awards will provide funding for high-quality summer learning activities, including literacy, STEM, academic support and skills building, social-emotional learning, health and well -being, enrichment and development of the workforce.
The Afterschool and Summer Program competition for the 2022-2023 term will end on July 15 and will be accessible at aosn.org.
“Even before the pandemic disrupted all aspects of student life, Arkansas was struggling to meet the demand for after-school and summer learning programs,” said Laveta Wills-Hale, principal. of the Arkansas Out of School Network. “For every child in an afterschool program in Arkansas, three more are waiting to be admitted. The same goes for summer apprenticeship programs. In 2019, more than 26,000 additional children would have been enrolled in a program if it had been made available to them. We will continue to work tirelessly to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and to ensure that all children have access to quality after-school and summer learning programs. This funding is a critical resource for our state’s communities and programs, and we are grateful to the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for their partnership.
Winners include school districts and community partnership programs such as public libraries, nonprofit organizations, vocational and technical programs, faith-based organizations, and institutions of higher education. They will use grants to address the academic impact of lost instructional time on student learning through evidence-based summer programs.
“We are thrilled to once again partner with the Arkansas Out of School Network to provide additional federal funding to schools and nonprofits to improve student learning this summer and after school this coming school year. “, said Dr. Ivy Pfeffer, DESE Deputy Commissioner. . “With the first round of funding, we saw innovative programs offered that support learning for students of all ages. Research shows that summer learning loss is a real problem for many students, especially those from economically disadvantaged households. Summer learning experiences that include academic enrichment, continued access to social-emotional supports, and access to experiences that connect students to practical opportunities provide enrichment and exposure that mitigate regression of learning. The winners of this next round of funding are well deserving, and we look forward to seeing their programs in action. »
The Arkansas Out of School Network is one of 50 State Extracurricular Networks (SANs) working to promote an expansion of school- and school-related after-school and summer programs serving children and youth ages from 5 to 19 years old.
The 30 scholarship recipients are:
- A different stroke of art, North Little Rock
- Apply Positive Keys / Down and Distance, Little Rock
- Arkansas Delta Solutions, Monticello
- Arkansas Employment Center, Little Rock
- Arkansas River Educational Services Cooperative, Pine Bluff
- Arkansas School for the Deaf, Little Rock
- Arkansas River Valley Boys and Girls Club, Russellville
- El Dorado Boys and Girls Club
- McGehee Boys and Girls Club
- Carter’s Crew, North Little Rock
- City Youth Ministries, Jonesboro
- Cutter Morning Star School District, Hot Springs
- Fordyce School District
- Four State Urban Development/Bowie and Miller Counties Literacy Council, Texarkana
- Girl Scouts Diamonds, Little Rock
- Gravette School District
- Greenland School District
- Harrison Public Schools
- Hermitage Elementary School
- Life Skills for Youth, Little Rock
- Mammoth Spring School District
- Melbourne School District
- Moncrief Game Changer, Little Rock
- Mountain View School District
- Pleasant Grove/SACK Baptist Church, Bald Knob
- Second Baptist Church, Little Rock
- Sheridan Public School District
- Southside School District, Batesville
- TOPPS, Pine Bluff
- William F. Laman Library, North Little Rock