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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

Special Grant Cycle Supports Underserved Children

August 13, 2020

Initial Grants Focus on Programming, Distance Learning, COVID-19 Safety

The Initiative Foundation has recently been awarded $416,000 in funding from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund. The overarching goal is to support early childhood programming that benefits children birth to 8 who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including illness, economic displacement and the interruption of educational and/or development supports.
The Initiative Foundation will issue three sequential grant-making rounds. Emphasis will be placed on equity in support of underserved communities, including areas of concentrated poverty, ethnic minorities and/or English as a second language, disabled individuals and/or those in rural areas who lack access to basic early childhood educational services.
This first round of grant-making ended in Aug. 28 with a goal to provide immediate support for educational programming:
  • Two grants of $15,000 to support summer programming
  • Four grants of $15,000 to support distance learning
The first round also aimed to support mental health services or support for educators or providers; social, emotional and physical health supports for early childhood professionals and children; and training and development to more effectively operate and address student needs during the pandemic.
  • Four grants of $5,000 will be awarded to support regional training that supports multiple sites or cohorts
  • Five grants of $2,500 to support community-level training for childcare providers and educators
Safety enhancements also are eligible:
  • Eighteen grants of $1,000 each will be awarded for supplies and equipment or training for providers/educators to aid in their efforts to adapt to COVID-19.
The application for the first round has now closed. To learn more about this series of three grant rounds, visit our information page.
Note: No applicant will receive funding in more than one area during any of the three planned grant cycles. The Initiative Foundation will make every effort to award grants in each of the 14 counties it serves to support a geographically diverse approach.

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