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MDE Announces 14 School Districts Receiving Over $3 Million in Grants

Partners from Communities In Schools will provide additional support to children to improve learning outcomes

LANSING – Fourteen Michigan school districts are receiving more than $3.2 million in grants from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to connect students and families with supportive adults and wrap-around community resources.  

Students in the schools will benefit from an MDE partnership with Communities In Schools of MichiganCommunities In Schools of Kalamazoo, and Communities in Schools of Northwest Michigan.

“I applaud these 14 school districts from all across Michigan,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “Their efforts and our partnership with Communities In Schools mean children in participating school districts will experience improved outcomes. With support in reading, math, and other areas, students will be better positioned to graduate from high school and achieve their life dreams.”

The grants will fund placing full-time student support coordinators in schools, among other initiatives.

The school districts earning competitive grants are:

  • Battle Creek Public Schools, $226,540.
  • Benton Harbor Area Schools, $373,984.
  • Central Lake Public Schools, $49,162.
  • Dearborn City School District, $1,766,012.
  • East Jordan Public Schools, $70,376.
  • Ellsworth Community School, $37,316.
  • Ferndale Public Schools, $136,400.
  • Kalamazoo Public Schools, $114,724.
  • Kalkaska Public Schools, $49,940.
  • Madison District Public Schools, $48,060.
  • Mancelona Public Schools, $63,090.
  • Marshall Public Schools, $75,750.
  • Vanderbilt Area Schools, $47,041.
  • Ypsilanti Community Schools, $181,650.

“This grant is yet another testament that MDE and Benton Harbor Area Schools are collaboratively, aggressively, and intentionally putting additional layers and effort into improving student literacy – as well as student achievement in math and other subjects,” said Dr. Kelvin Butts, superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools. “Benton Harbor Area Schools is working diligently to ensure that every student has an equitable opportunity to receive the same level of attention and service while focusing on the whole child and family as we continue to move forward. This initiative will empower our students and educators, fostering environments where learning and growth thrive.”

The grant aligns with Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan Goal 2, to improve early literacy achievement, and Goal 5, to increase the percentage of all students who graduate from high school.

“Children win when adults work together to improve schools,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Pamela Pugh. “Thanks to Communities In Schools at the national, state, and local levels; our local school district leaders; the Ballmer Group; and MDE for their partnership.”

Communities In Schools places full-time student support coordinators in each partner school building to connect students and families with supportive adults and community resources. The staff focus on wrap-around supports targeting academic achievement, learning loss, absenteeism, and graduation rates. By empowering students, Communities In Schools helps provide a more equitable learning environment for all learners.

"Communities In Schools extends heartfelt gratitude to the Michigan Department of Education for this grant. It is an investment in schools that directly impacts students and shapes our collective future," said Communities In Schools National President and CEO Rey Saldaña. "Together, we can provide students with the resources and supports they need to succeed in and out of the classroom."

Communities In Schools has received funding from the Ballmer Group for its efforts to provide support to public schools around the United States – including in Michigan. Ballmer Group provides funding to reshape opportunity and expand economic mobility across the United States.

“This partnership between MDE and the Communities In Schools affiliates in Michigan is a perfect example of how the nonprofit and public sector can come together to support Michigan's students,” said Mallory DePrekel, CEO of Communities In Schools Michigan. “We are honored to expand our supports to students in so many districts across Michigan and look forward to continue providing the evidence-based Integrated Student Supports model to thousands more students in the next three years." 

MDE and Communities In Schools affiliates in Michigan worked together to bring schools this unique three-year grant opportunity in support of students and schools. MDE is providing start-up funding from American Rescue Plan, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief administrative funds. Communities In Schools affiliates are providing matching funds. Some local district contributions are also needed.

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