$350,000 in funding will support summer programs that focus on equity, engagement, and wellness following pandemic disruptions
Denver, Colorado, June 15, 2021 – The Recovery Summer Coalition (the Coalition), facilitated by Early Milestones Colorado (Early Milestones) and Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), is pleased to announce 11 grants to fund regional equity-centered efforts that leverage the upcoming summer for supporting Colorado children and families. An estimated 4,000 youth will be impacted by the efforts of nearly 75 organizations. These grants were made possible by $350,000 in joint funding from Caring for Colorado Foundation and Rose Community Foundation.
Formed in January, the Coalition of nonprofit and education organizations, communities and individuals called on policymakers and convened to developed strategies toward a new approach for summer programming. Partners emphasized a shared urgency for whole child programs rooted in equity, engagement and wellness for students and their families. From the resulting request for proposals, the Coalition received 24 funding applications. Eleven grantees were selected to receive between $10,000 and $40,000 for community- and place-based initiatives.
Facing unprecedented challenges created by more than a year of global pandemic conditions, grantees demonstrated creativity in engaging with the students and families who most need enhanced offerings. Funds will help these organizations strengthen and expand programs to provide more equitable access and support ahead of the 2021-2022 academic year.
“These grantees will offer the most innovative, student- and family-focused programming designed to accelerate a summer of recovery for Colorado,” said Early Milestones Executive Director Jennifer Stedron.
“We have seen exceptional collaboration by a cross sector of schools, districts and statewide partners to reach and serve more students and families, particularly those disengaged during the pandemic, and offer support to those who have traditionally experienced difficulty accessing such programs,” added CEI President and CEO Rebecca Holmes.
Recovery Summer grantee programs address a range of needs including:
- Onsite or virtual mental health services to provide high school students with academic and social-emotional support;
- School- and science center-based learning and enrichment opportunities for youngsters through fifth grade; and
- Purposeful summer programming for early childhood education in socio-economically disadvantaged areas via a mobile preschool program, eliminating cost and travel barriers.
“With the influx of education relief funding, including our Recovery Summer grants, Colorado has a breakthrough opportunity to collectively redesign Colorado’s education systems and supports to emphasize whole student and family needs,” said Holmes.
The Coalition aims to use successes and lessons learned from these initiatives to fuel future system-level innovation for engaging students and families both during and outside the traditional school year.
Brief descriptions of funded programs are included below. For more information about the Recovery Summer Coalition and grantee programs, visit ColoradoSummerCoalition.org.
ABOUT THE GRANTEES
Adams 12 Five Star Schools/Five Star Explores: Providing opportunities for academic enrichment, offering students a broad array of services, programs, and activities designed to reinforce and complement school-year instructional strategies. This initiative also aims to meet technology-specific needs for participating students.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo: Meeting the needs of working families through increased hours (additional 2.5 hours daily) and number of youth served (additional 60 youth daily). Programs aim to improve social and emotional wellness, math and literacy, and meaningful family engagement, confidence, and capacity.
Catholic Charities of Pueblo, Family Resource Center: Using summer enrichment programs to help children feel ready to engage in school after experiencing isolation and other academic difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include social-emotional support for children, community partnerships, direct-to-family funding programs, and support navigating available resources.
Center for High School Success (Stand for Children): Supporting high school attainment and transitions through increased access to summer academic enrichment and credit recovery; strengthening 8th to 9th grade transition programming; and expanding transition supports to rising 10th graders.
Convivir Colorado (Denver, Aurora): Supporting immigrant and refugee youth and families with assistance in navigating systems, self-advocacy, and addressing trauma and mental health related needs.
Family Mountain Center and Grand Beginnings (Grand and Jackson counties):Increasing social-emotional and nutritional resources for families furthest from opportunity to support their health and overall well-being.
Pueblo 60 School District and State of Grace Counseling: Providing students access to onsite or virtual mental health supports, including individual and small group counseling.
Summit 54 (Roaring Fork): Collaborating with recreational partners to provide Friday field trips and Outdoor Experiential Learning with a focus on expanding support to include 6th graders and increasing social and emotional training.
The Powerhouse and La Plata County: Expanding engagement and improved academic performance for students who traditionally have difficulty accessing summer learning opportunities. Community partners will build on relationships with youth-serving organizations to provide richer experiences for students and parents and expand work in Outlying Communities [Aztec (NM), Cortez, Ignacio, Mancos, Pagosa Springs, Silverton, and Towaoc].
United Way of Southwest Colorado: Empowering and supporting students to improve confidence, communication, respect for others, empathy, problem-solving, and their ability to self-regulate, while also providing accessible academic and enrichment support ahead of the next school year.
You Be You Early Learning (Aurora): Providing purposeful summer programming to 16 early childhood education (ECE) students in a socio-economically disadvantaged area and eliminating cost and travel barriers. This effort will evaluate the mobile ECE model for program expansion to other underserved communities, grow partnerships to connect parents with tools and services; and develop a clear network accessible to parents.
About Early Milestones Colorado
Early Milestones Colorado is an independent nonprofit organization helping to advance innovative solutions that improve policies and practices in early childhood development. Founded in 2015, we work with state and local partners to exchange ideas, share resources, and create lasting, positive change so that every Colorado community can provide an environment where children will flourish.
About the Colorado Education Initiative
The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) cultivates systems improvement and equity in K-12 education. For more than ten years, we have been at the forefront of improvement, innovation, and change in Colorado’s public education system.