Department of Education announces grants for school programs

Published 9:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) announced recently the Alabama Summer and Afterschool Program (ASAP) grant.

ALSDE officials say the grant is aimed at implementing or enhancing existing afterschool and summer learning programs that provide student learning and academic enrichment activities. The grant is designed to support programs for students in any grade from Pre-K to 12 and focuses on accelerating student learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and reading.

“This could be very beneficial in Dallas County where there are limited activities available to students,” said Dr. Tonya Chestnut, a State Board of Education Representative. “I’m hoping all systems and non-profits that are eligible will apply to enhance their existing programs.”

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The grant aims to promote academic enrichment through various activities, including foundational learning support, knowledge-building, application of learning in novel ways, homework assistance, tutoring activities, financial literacy, and arts education. The application process for the grant opened on Dec. 14 and will close on Jan.16 at 5 p.m.

“We are excited that these funds have been made available and hope the funding will be taken advantage of in Dallas County,” Chestnut said. “This will give these programs the opportunity to provide additional enrichment especially in the areas of reading, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”

The grant will award at least 45 grants, with each program eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. Upon notification of award status, the grants will be available for implementation as early as Feb. 19 and must conclude by Sept. 16, 2024.

The ASAP grant presents an opportunity for local education agencies (LEAs), municipalities, and not-for-profit organizations to enhance their existing programs and provide valuable academic enrichment to students across Alabama. With a focus on STEM and reading, these grants aim to support the holistic development of students and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed for success.