Officials from the Obama Administration have announced the five organizations that are set to receive the first round of Promise Neighborhoods implementation grants. A further 15 organizations will receive a second round of planning grants.
More than 200 nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education and Indian tribes from 45 states, as well as American Samoa and Puerto Rico, applied for 2011 Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants.
The winning grantees are now able to put school improvement at the center of local efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods.
"I commend all communities that are putting education at the center of efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas," said Melody Barnes, domestic policy advisor to President Obama.
"The goal of Promise Neighborhoods is to provide the resources and support young people need to succeed while transforming distressed neighborhoods into communities of opportunity."
The five new implementation grants will amount to $6 million in the first-year for each winner. This will total up to $30 million over the entire grant. The second round of planning grants will fund activities to transform 15 new communities into Promise Neighborhoods, at $500,000 a grant.
These grants will support plans that will provide cradle-to-career services that are aimed to improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children.
"Promise Neighborhoods recognizes that children need to be surrounded by systems of support inside and outside of the classroom to help them be successful in school and beyond," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
"The 20 grantees announced today are spread out across the country, reflecting a broader nationwide movement to revitalize struggling communities by providing better access to health care, social and safety services partnered by great schools."
The Promise Neighborhoods program aims to address significant challenges faced by students and families living in high-poverty communities. President Obama's recent Creating Pathways to Opportunity report outlined the steps the administration has taken to reverse the growing income gap and create opportunity for all Americans.
Promise Neighborhoods applicants also received points for targeting neighborhoods participating in Choice Neighborhoods or Hope VI as well as affordable housing transformation programs supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, says officials from the White House.
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with the U.S. Department of Education to align housing, neighborhood development, and education resources to expand opportunity in some of our most distressed communities," said U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan.
So far, Promise Neighborhoods have offered grants totaling $10 million for one-year planning grants to 21 communities across the country since being launched in 2010.
The 2011 grants announced this week will reach an additional 16 communities. Congress recently passed a fiscal year 2012 budget, including an additional $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods.
The five Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees are:
- Westminster Foundation (Buffalo, N.Y.)
- Northside Achievement Zone (Minneapolis, Minn.)
- Berea College (Clay, Jackson, and Owsley Counties, Ky.)
- United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
- California State University – East Bay (Hayward, Calif.)
The 15 Promise Neighborhoods planning grantees are:
- Mission Economic Development Agency (San Francisco)
- Reading and Beyond (Fresno, Calif.)
- Mercer University (Macon, Ga.)
- Community Action Project of Tulsa (Tulsa, Okla.)
- Elmezzi Foundation (New York)
- South Bay Community Services (Chula Vista, Calif.)
- Black Family Development (Detroit, Mich.)
- Children Youth and Family Services (Charlottesville, Va.)
- CAMBA (New York)
- SGA Youth and Family Services (Chicago)
- Ohio University (Glouster, Ohio)
- Meriden Children's First (Meriden, Conn.)
- Martha O'Bryan Center (Nashville, Tenn.)
- Catholic Charities of Albany (Hudson, N.Y.)
- Campo Band of Mission Indians (Campo, Calif.)