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Three children playing instruments.

Comprehensive Afterschool Programs Urged to Apply for $550,787 in Funding through CASE for Kids Partnership Project

An afterschool visit from two master gardeners transforms an elementary school outdoor garden into a science experiment. Through an afterschool drum practice session, students learn emotional safety. In an online afterschool chess program, young players gain social skills and self-confidence. Comprehensive afterschool programs which provide five-day, full care of students once school is over until parents pick them up are being bolstered by $550,787 in funding from the Partnership Project. Partnership Project supplies matching afterschool funding provided by Harris County Department of Education’s Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, and the Texas Workforce Commission. Afterschool programs located in schools or other community sites may submit a request for proposal for the program which fills afterschool funding gaps through a unique collaborative between local, state and federal partners.
“We are so glad to have the ability to support school districts and not-for profit organizations that are committed to providing afterschool programming during these challenging times,” CASE for Kids Director Dr. Lisa Thompson Caruthers said.
Afterschool sites applying for funding must provide a 25 percent match for funding provided by the grant award. Grants range from $10,000-$30,000 per site. Because of the pandemic, CASE for Kids is considering in-kind support as acceptable for matching fund contributions.  Applicants using public dollars as their match contribution receive priority points on their application. The Partnership Project is a 20-year-old program which provides funding for comprehensive afterschool programs from Oct. 1, 2020, through July 31, 2021. Historically, programs providing direct care for youth from Monday through Friday with at least a two-year history of offering out-of-school time services to the community have been eligible for funding.  Due to COVID-19, local education agencies and nonprofit programs offering direct service, virtual or hybrid afterschool activities will be considered for funding. Comprehensive afterschool programs offering direct service for 12-plus hours receive priority points on their application. CASE for Kids supplies resources, training and funding for students in afterschool programs in schools, childcare families and community centers. In 2019-2020, CASE for Kids served 6,028 students and supported 2,632 educators. The goal of Partnership Project is to provide supplemental funding to comprehensive afterschool programs for disadvantaged students ages 4-12, or children with disabilities up to age 19. The program promotes social and emotional learning skills and increases support for academic programs which promote math and reading. The Partnership Project fills funding gaps with a variety of resources, including the CASE for Kids lending library which provides curricula, educational games, sporting equipment and STEM-based materials like robotics kits. Afterschool vendors affiliated with CASE for Kids specialize in academic focus areas that highlight math and language and social and emotional learning.
“Youth, more than ever before in their lifetimes, need the ability to engage with mentoring adults and peers though activities that spark their interest, build on school day learning and provide connections with others,” Caruthers said.
Deadline to apply for the Partnership Project RFP is Aug. 7 at 4 p.m. Visit https://hcde-texas.org/afterschool-zone for information and to apply. Source: HCDE