PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 2, 2022) – The Arizona Department of Education today announced funding focused on support for students and their families with a particular focus on low-income or first-generation students. “Parents deserve easy access to resources that help their children achieve their full potential,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “I know students and parents need more direct support when it comes to educational services outside of the classroom. These organizations are well prepared to support students and families and will help foster higher student achievement.”
The funding will support:
- Access ASU will receive $10 million to provide academic support services for first-generation and low-income students statewide in critical transition periods of middle school to high school and senior year to post-secondary. Access ASU will also provide student and family engagement services for elementary, middle, and high school students statewide and targeted support for high school foster students.
- Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley will receive $3 million to implement its Whole Child Approach (WCA) program, helping alleviate social and emotional stress among children and youth. The program will be expanded to children ages 5-17 in Maricopa and Pinal Counties will have the opportunity to participate in activities that promote recovery by introducing and teaching developmental skills that reinforce success in school, work, and life.
- Higher Ground Resource Center will receive $2.3 million to expand its Restart SMART community schools’ program. Higher Ground serves primarily low-income youth and families in the Tucson area through in-school, summer, and after-school programs that build life skills and provide critical multigenerational support.
"This grant will allow for an effective and targeted approach to supporting youth through the current disparities that can make learning so hard,” said Stephanie Anderson, Chief Community Officer of Higher Ground Resource Center. “It will help us bring in more partners to fill the needs at the school sites where we work, and it will allow us address learning loss and opportunity gaps at the individual level, at the schoolwith Higher Ground. Allowing families and youth to create and sustain a safe home, with food and basic necessities allow for a young person to show up to school ready to concentrate on learning and meeting up to age-appropriate expectations. The pandemic has exacerbated so many opportunity gaps in some neighborhoods, and this model of wrap-around service management, tiered interventions, and leveraging resources in the wider community - all serve to create a stable school site, where students can learn and thrive. Staff and school leadership can concentrate on teaching and the Restart SMART Team can focus on student and family support. This grant allows us to build site steering committees for diverse ownership of the site design, community-level communications, and training for teachers, staff, and leadership. It will help us bring in more partners to fill the needs at the sites where we work, and it will provide us with the ability to stand up a knowledge base to address learning loss and opportunity gaps at the individual level, at the site, and in the community."
“We are excited to receive funding to expand efforts to support key areas related to academic preparation, increased family engagement and success of high schoolers in foster care,” said ASU’s Vice President of Educational Outreach, Sharon Smith. “Access ASU will deliver a three-pronged approach that will address unfinished learning while creating greater opportunities for families to be directly involved in their students educational pursuits from middle school to college”.
This news follows Tuesday’s announcement, awarding $13.3 million to build capacity in rural schools.
These projects are funded with dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and are part of Arizona’s ARP School and Community Grantees. All funded projects share the goal of supporting schools, students, educators, and families as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.