Oct 13 2016 | 02:50:02 PM

$550,000 in city of Houston funding benefits Houston families via CASE for Kids City Connections

Afterschool gets a boost in the city of Houston thanks to $550,000 in Houston City Council funding earmarked for a collaborative called CASE for Kids City Connections. The partnership with the city of Houston and the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids, provides $45,000 in funding for nonprofit organizations in each of the 11 Houston City Council districts A-K.

CASE for Kids has worked with city council members and the city of Houston for three years as administrator and coordinator of the City Connections program. Last year, an estimated 7,938 children were served through the program.

Funding begins Oct. 31 through March 31 for the organizations selected as afterschool providers. Grant awards range from $4,000-$10,000. Several council districts will reissue a request for proposal due by Nov. 7 for additional funding opportunities in Houston City Council Districts A, B, E and F.

As an afterschool intermediary, CASE for Kids provides resources, trainings and funding for students in grades pre-k through 12 in afterschool programs in schools, child care facilities and community centers. As a branch of Harris County Department of Education, the division was founded in 1999 with a goal to keep kids safe, help working families and improve academic achievement.

“The need for safe and secure places for our Houston children to go before and after school gets more critical each year as families’ work demands increase and federal funding for afterschool disappears,” said CASE for Kids Director Lisa Thompson-Caruthers. “Houston leadership is in touch with its families and communities and realizes that children need enriching activities and safe havens during out-of-school time. There are a wealth of worthy organizations who are stepping up to provide quality programs.”

In addition to organizations providing afterschool activities for youth, the funded organizations may also use grant funding from the city to improve afterschool program quality.

CASE for Kids will provide resources for quality support via afterschool trainings and lend items from its library to the organizations. Curriculum and equipment such as academic materials, sports equipment and literacy kits can be checked out, free of charge.

A total of 105 City Connections applications were received for the 2016-2017 school year. Organizations will provide a variety of activities for youth after school, including fine arts, academic enrichment, college exploration and fitness classes.

For details about the organizations gaining City Connections funding, go to www.afterschoolzone.org. To find out about additional funding opportunities in city council districts A, B, E and F, email caseconnections@hcde-texas.org.

About the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids or CASE for Kids: CASE for Kids, formerly the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment, was launched by Harris County Department of Education in 1999. CASE for Kids is an after-school intermediary which leverages community resources and strengthens the capacity of the out-of-school time field. Services benefit approximately 12,000 kids in greater Harris County. CASE for Kids programs happen before and after school, on weekends and during the summer. Go to www.afterschoolzone.org for information.

About Harris County Department of Education (HCDE): Serving students, teachers, schools and communities throughout Harris County, HCDE is a local governmental organization providing value for school districts while supporting educational opportunity. Partnering with Harris County school districts, HCDE maximizes local resources and responds to the needs of locally elected school boards and education leaders. HCDE services include school-based therapy for students, afterschool programs, Head Start, educator training, adult education and programs to promote safe schools. To learn more about how your county department of education can help you: www.hcde-texas.org.