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New Grants Available for Out-of-School Programs Serving Middle School Students

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A new grant competition opened up this week for out-of-school time programs serving middle school students.

The Aim High grant competition will provide $1.95 million over three years to out-of-school time, or OST, programs serving disadvantaged young people.

The grants are sponsored by theĀ New York Life Foundation and Afterschool Alliance, and are part of the foundation's efforts to help underserved students in 8th grade progress to high school on time.

"The Afterschool Alliance's years of work on OST issues affords them extraordinary reach and access in the field, which makes them ideal partners for the New York Life Foundation on this initiative," said Maryln Torres, the foundation's senior program officer, in a news release. "We're looking forward to this collaboration, and we're excited about the opportunity to help deserving after-school programs expand their outstanding work."

The foundation plans to hand out 18 awards this year to after-school summer and expanded-learning programs throughout the country:

  • Four awards of $100,000 over two years will go to organizations with yearly budgets of $500,000 or more
  • Four awards of $50,000 over two years will go to organizations with yearly budgets of $250,000 to $500,000
  • 10 awards of $15,000 over one year will be given to programs with strong family-engagement strategies that are managed by organizations with yearly budgets of more than $150,000

These grants may be used for several things including program expansion and direct service activities.

The two-year grants will be awarded based on how well the organizations support middle school students in the transition to high school in areas such as improved grades and behavior.

A panel of experts in the field chosen by the Afterschool Alliance will review the applications and make grant awards. Recipients will be notified in May, and applications are due next month, February 17. A webinar will be held for prospective applicants on January 25.

"We're deeply grateful to the New York Life Foundation for its commitment to supporting children and families in out-of-school time programs," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant in a news release. "Their support has made an enormous difference in so many lives, and we're delighted to help extend their reach with this new initiative."

Since 2013, The New York Life Foundation has spent more than $24 million to support national out-of-school time programs for middle school students.

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