Boys & Girls club earns federal grant in partnership with MPS

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, in partnership with the Milwaukee Public School District has received a federal Investing in Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The ‘i3′ grant will provide the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee a 5 year development grant worth $4.14 million for its Milwaukee Community Literacy Project with MPS.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee was one of 49 winning applicants for the grant.
“We’re thrilled to work with MPS on this collaborative effort,” said James Clark, president and chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “It fits very nicely as part of our strategic plan, Decade of Hope. We’re taking a sweeping approach to reach and impact more young lives through increased opportunity, innovative programming and community collaboration.”
The i3 fund is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $10 billion investment in school reform. The fund is set up to support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The competition was open to school districts as well as nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education working in partnership with public schools.
“The goal of the Milwaukee Community Literacy Project is to demonstrate an impact on improving student growth in reading for high-need students by expanding the implementation of and investment in community literacy,” said Clark. “Together with MPS, we aim to significantly improve reading performance of K-3 grade students through literacy work in three spheres of their lives, which will help focus the project towards meeting the goal and the long term outcomes. We’ll be helping upward of 1,500 children become more proficient in reading and increasing their likelihood to graduate from high school and become productive, responsible adults.”
The Milwaukee Community Literacy Project is modeled after the Boys & Girls Clubs’ SPARK Early Literacy Initiative now entering its fifth year and is implemented at eight school-Club partnership locations. During the 2008-2009 school year, participants reading at grade level increased dramatically from 23 percent to 84 percent among the 380 Club members served at the time.

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