Booker T. Washington Community Center awarded $2.5 million Community Schools grant to fund programming for Auburn students
The Booker T. Washington Community Center, in partnership with the Auburn Enlarged City School District, applied for the highly competitive Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant program from the U.S. Education Department of Education and was recently awarded funding.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, this year’s grant competition received the largest number of applications in the history of the program. Out of 240 applications, only 42 were able to be funded. The Booker T. Washington Community Center received a 5-year grant of $2,499,770 for their Booker T. Washington Project ACCESS: Advancing Community Schools.
“We are thrilled to be one of the recipients of this funding so that we can better serve the students, the future leaders, in our community,” said Denise Farrington, Executive Director, Booker T. Washington Community Center.
When the Full-Service Community Schools Program funding was announced by the U.S. Department of Education last year, the Auburn Enlarged City School District approached the Booker T. Washington Community Center about applying and taking the lead on the project with the school district’s full support and access to resources to help every step of the way through the application process.
The Booker T. Washington Community Center has a well-established partnership with the Auburn Enlarged City School District, Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc., YMCA, Auburn Community Theater, law enforcement agencies, and other youth serving organizations in Auburn.
“With BTW’s established partnerships in the community, it made sense for the school district to extend our support to help with this process,” said Camille Johnson, AECSD Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.
“This is yet another example of our strong partnership with the Booker T. Washington Community Center,” Johnson said.
According to the announcement from the U.S. Department of Education, it has been proven that well-implemented community schools with integrated student supports, active community engagement, expanded learning time, and collaborative practices lead to better student and school outcomes, especially for low-income students.
“While the grant is expansive, some of the highlights include adding free before-school programming at Casey Park, Genesee, Herman, and Seward Elementary Schools, as well as free after-school programming at Herman Elementary School, which will help address the long-standing daycare needs in our school district,” Johnson continued.
“We will also be able to include additional programing to expand our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support model for behavioral, mental health, and social-emotional learning at our elementary schools, as well as offer vision services.”
Though the grant was awarded earlier this month, Ms. Farrington and Ms. Johnson have already begun the work and planning involved with implementing these programs.