Aim High Grant Program 2018: Supporting Out-of-School Time Programs, Serving Disadvantaged Middle School Youth

On behalf of the New York Life Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance invites out-of-school time programs to apply for a new competitive grant opportunity to support and bolster the ability of afterschool and summer learning programs to help their middle school students make a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade. This competitive grant program includes both one- and two-year grant opportunities. Applicants can only apply for one of these grants. One-year grants will begin in May 2018 and end in May 2019 while two-year grants will begin in May 2018 and end in May 2020. The last date to submit the application is Friday, January 26th, 2018.

The grant program will fund a total of 26 after school, summer and expanded learning programs nationwide, based on a competitive application process. This year, the Aim High grant program will provide $1,350,000 to support 26 awards nationwide as follows: $100,000 over two years – 8 awards to be made to organizations with annual budgets of $500,000 or greater and annual program budgets of $250,000 or greater; $50,000 over two years – 8 awards to be made to organizations with annual budgets of $250,000 or greater; $15,000 one-year grant – 10 awards will be made to organizations with annual budgets of $150,000 or greater, focused on helping them better serve and support youth with disabilities or special needs.

The recipients of two-year grants will be chosen on the strength of their support for youth in the transition to the ninth grade, specifically around such indicators of success as on-time promotion; school attendance rates; improved behavior, grades and test scores; and/or the development of social and emotional skills. While applicants for the one-year grants will be required to describe how they support youth in the transition to the 9th grade, with a specific focus on how their programs serve youth with disabilities or other special needs, or plan to better serve this population.

The Afterschool Alliance will convene a panel of reviewers, including leaders in the OST field, researchers, program directors, and experts on quality programming, to assess applicants and make grant awards.

The New York Life Foundation invests in middle school OST programs to help economically disadvantaged eighth-graders get to ninth grade on time. Research has shown that for disadvantaged students, more learning time in the form of high-quality afterschool, expanded-day, and summer programs leads to greater achievement, better school attendance, and more engaged students.

Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $32 million in national middle school OST efforts, supporting organizations that provide nearly 500,000 middle school youth with afterschool and summer programming. Foundation grants have supported an additional 6 million hours of OST programming.

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