(December 19, 2011) Senior officials from the Obama Administration announced today that five organizations will receive the first round of Promise Neighborhoods implementation grants, and another 15 organizations will receive a second round of planning grants. Grantees, comprised of nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education and an Indian tribe, will put school improvement at the center of local efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods.
More than 200 organizations from 45 states, as well as American Samoa and Puerto Rico, applied for 2011 Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants.
“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 be awarded a first-year grant of up to $6 million, totaling up to $30 million across the life of the grant, which will support implementing plans to provide cradle-to-career services that improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children. The second round of $500,000 planning grants will fund planning activities to transform 15 new communities into Promise Neighborhoods.
“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 by providing resources to plan and implement a continuum of services from early learning to college and career. Plans include a range of services from improving a neighborhood’s health, safety, and stability to expanding access to learning technology and Internet connectivity, and boosting family engagement in student learning.
President Obama recently highlighted Promise Neighborhoods in the Creating Pathways to Opportunity report that describes steps the administration has taken to reverse the growing income gap and create opportunity for all Americans. The program is also at the center of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), which seeks to align federal housing, education, justice, and health programs with the overarching goal of transforming neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.
In an effort to integrate public service programs, Promise Neighborhoods applicants received competitive points for targeting neighborhoods participating in Choice Neighborhoods or Hope VI, affordable housing transformation programs supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“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.
Each of the five Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees will also be eligible for funding from the Department of Justice to support and expand their public safety strategy.
“Students, families, teachers and principals need support to create safe environments in our nation’s schools,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with these grantees and their public safety partners to coordinate investments and initiatives that prevent and reduce crime throughout Promise Neighborhoods.”
Promise Neighborhoods, launched in 2010, made available a total of $10 million for one-year planning grants to 21 communities across the country. The 2011 grants announced today will reach an additional 16 communities. Between both rounds, 18 states and D.C. will have plans in place to help revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods. Congress recently passed a fiscal year 2012 budget, which will include an additional $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods.
To learn more, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.html.
A complete list of 2011 Promise Neighborhoods grantees follows.
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.)