The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has approved planning and capacity-building grants to seven of the region’s school districts. Grants were provided to Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, Vernon, Windsor, and Windsor Locks school districts to promote increased educational equity and opportunity and bring a variety of vital new student and family services and supports to schools.
“Many of the schools and educators in our region are doing incredible things, but we know that schools by themselves cannot provide all of the opportunities that children need to succeed and thrive,” said Sara Sneed, the Foundation’s director of education investments. “Family, school and community partnership are critical as school districts address issues such as increasing kindergarteners’ school readiness, stemming summer learning loss, improving student attendance, and promoting early literacy.”
The grants mark the Hartford Foundation’s first efforts to help districts outside of Hartford to deepen their partnerships not only with families but also with health and mental health service providers, dental and vision care services, cultural institutions, and resources focused on boosting students’ career and college readiness.
According to Sneed, the grants will give each district the opportunity to develop approaches to partnership with families and community resources responsive to students’ individual needs. Anticipated grant activity will build on the Foundation’s 20 plus years of experience in Hartford through its Brighter Futures, After-School, and Hartford Community Schools initiatives.
A quick snapshot of the grants awarded:
Bloomfield – Received $49,915
Project Goal – To develop a comprehensive district-wide plan to increase students’ learning time, resources and opportunities through increased partnership with families and other community resources, ultimately extending the school day and school year in all Bloomfield schools.
East Hartford – Received $43,000
Project Goal – To increase the district’s partnership with parents and families district-wide, especially through improved communications, consistent with East Hartford Public Schools’ new strategic plan “EH15”
Hartford – Received $50,000
Project Goal – To strengthen the district’s new Family and Community Engagement Plan aimed at creating a family engagement culture at every school and supporting families’ efforts to serve as effective consumers and advocates for their children.
Manchester – Received $50,000
Project Goal – To develop a comprehensive plan to connect families, school, and community resources early in a child’s life (ages 0-8) and to develop a sustainable bridge of supports for students into and throughout their academic career.
Vernon – Received $40,000
Project Goal – To involve families in the district’s efforts to meet student needs by offering a powerful vision for students.
Windsor – Received $47,000
Project Goal – To engage families and community partners in planning to address the need for increased early childhood services.
Windsor Locks – Received $39,930
Project Goal - In partnership with the Windsor Locks Teachers’ Association, union, families, and the community, Windsor Locks Public Schools wants to expand its personalized learning and pathways for student in grades 9-12, to increase students’ career and college readiness.
Now that the grants have been awarded, the Hartford Foundation is providing each district with substantial individualized technical assistance, training opportunities and other support.
“The districts have welcomed the Foundation’s capacity-building investments with great enthusiasm,” Sneed said. “I think we all realize that to achieve greater equity in educational opportunity in this region, we must ensure that all children have a fair chance at success and receive all of the supports and services necessary to develop their talents.”
After the plans have been finalized and submitted, the most competitive of the plans will be considered for a continuing investment by the Hartford Foundation.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, established in 1925, is the community foundation for 29 communities in the Hartford region. It is dedicated to putting philanthropy into action to create lasting solutions that result in vibrant communities within the Greater Hartford region. It receives gifts from generous individuals, families and organizations, and in 2013 awarded grants of more than $29 million to a broad range of area nonprofits. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.