U.S. Department of Education Opens Competition for Promise Neighborhoods
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April 30, 2010
Contact: Justin Hamilton or (202) 401-1576

The U.S. Department of Education today launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas.

The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.

"We need to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to lifting our families and our communities out of poverty," President Barack Obama said. "Promise Neighborhoods will support a number of different services and educational reforms to help improve the lives of our young people from birth through childhood, from college through a career."

"The Promise Neighborhoods program brings all of the Department's strategies together—high-quality early learning programs, high-quality schools, and comprehensive supports to ensure that students are safe, healthy and successful," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "These services must be comprehensive, and schools must put education at the center."

The Promise Neighborhoods program is based on the experience of programs such as the Harlem Children's Zone, which serves a nearly 100-block area in New York City with parenting classes, early learning centers, and health and social service programs and has boosted students' academic outcomes dramatically. Under the Promise Neighborhood program, nonprofits and institutions of higher education will be eligible for one-year grants supporting the design of comprehensive community programs. The programs must have the specific goal of preparing students for success in college and careers. As part of the planning process, applicants must focus their efforts on schools in the neighborhood and build services for students in those schools from birth through college to career.

The Department plans to make up to 20 planning grants, ranging between $400,000 and $500,000. It is inviting applications from projects serving urban neighborhoods, rural areas and tribal communities. Applications will be due on June 25.

Today's release of applications for planning grants to develop Promise Neighborhoods is the first step in a multiyear process. President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget includes $210 million to support five-year grants to implement plans to offer comprehensive services and to support planning grants in additional communities.

Officials from the Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement will conduct several Webinars on the application for potential applicants. All Webinars require participants to register in advance. To register, go to here.



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Last Modified: 05/03/2010