The California Community Foundation has announced a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation in support of extended learning time initiatives in Los Angeles Unified School District schools. An additional $200,000 from CCF will boost the total investment in the initiative to $1.7 million.
The bulk of the funding will be used to establish and develop two reform efforts — the Community Schools initiative and the Linked Learning model — in up to seventeen low-income schools in Los Angeles County. Much of the rest of the funding will be combined with state and federal funds designated for out-of-school time initiatives at six high schools in association with community-based partners.
To date, CCF has awarded grants of $180,000 each to the Alliance for Better Community and InnerCity Struggle; $175,000 to the Los Angeles Small Schools Center; and $100,000 to the Los Angeles Education Partnership.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the grant from Ford was made as part of the New York City-based foundation's $50 million commitment to redesigning afterschool programs in six major cities through the Time to Succeed Coalition. Recently, LAUSD has had to lay off staff, reduce afterschool programs, and shorten the school year to offset government funding cuts.
"Expanded learning time benefits families as well as students and teachers because there are so few opportunities outside of school for kids in poorer neighborhoods, and many hardworking parents are not at home during afterschool hours," said CCF president and CEO Antonia Hernandez. "We need to do better at ensuring that school-age kids are in productive, supervised activities during the highest-risk hours of the day."
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