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Ho! Ho! Ho! Funders and Feds Offer Holiday Cheer

In the spirit of "the season of giving," there are a couple other grants and funding announcements in the expanded learning realm following TASC's news last week.

Citizen Schools, the Boston-based nonprofit that partners with middle schools to expand the school day, was recently awarded $3.25 million from Google.org to be used over the course of three years. To date, Citizen Schools has partnered with 31 schools in seven states.

Google has worked with Citizen Schools in the past by providing "apprenticeships" to students at its schools. In the Citizen Schools model, the added time in the school day includes time for mentorships and apprenticeships, which are hands-on learning courses taught by professionals. The hope is that it will stimulate student interest in potentially pursuing careers in such fields. To date, more than 350 Google employees have worked with students at Citizen Schools.

[Google also awarded $6 million total to three Boston-area organizations including Citizen Schools in an effort to support education and technology nonprofits. According to one source, this funding was part of $40 million donated worldwide to organizations.]

Also in funding news, the federal Promise Neighborhoods program, an initiative of the Department of Education that provides funding to help organizations improve local schools and community services in high-poverty areas, announced the latest round of grantees.

The program gives organizations both planning grants and implementation grants through a competitive process. These organizations must implement plans to provide "cradle to career" services that bridge connections and build community, with a focus on education.

The Education Department reported that five organizations will receive planning grants and 15 will receive implementation grants. The winners range from nonprofits to higher education institutions to an Indian tribe; more than 200 organizations applied from 45 states.

In addition, the latest federal spending bill for fiscal 2012 would allocate $60 million for the Promise Neighborhoods program, up from $30 million last year.

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