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Third cycle of grants to bring awards total to $3.45 million.

Targeted grants will focus on professional development for staff.

NEW YORK, December 13, 2018—The Afterschool Alliance and the New York Life Foundation today issued a Request for Proposals for the third year of the Aim High grant program. In this third cycle of Aim High grants, the Foundation will award $1.35 million to out-of-school time (OST) programs serving disadvantaged middle school youth, bringing the total amount awarded over the life of the grant program to $3.45 million.

Aim High is part of the New York Life Foundation's ongoing investment in OST programs to help underserved 8th graders reach the 9th grade on time and prepared for high school level work. In 2019, 26 awards will go to afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs nationwide through a competitive application process.

  • Sixteen grants will support capacity building and program expansion of OST programs.
  • Ten grants will help programs provide professional development for OST staff. Professional development is a critical component of high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs, enhancing program quality both by improving staff practice and knowledge and improving student learning outcomes.

Research has shown that for disadvantaged students, additional learning time in the form of high-quality afterschool, expanded day and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance and more engaged students.

"The New York Life Foundation is a firm supporter of high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs as they help middle school students make successful transitions to high school," said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. "The Afterschool Alliance’s deep expertise in the OST field has been critical to the success of the Aim High grant program."

Twenty-six grants will be awarded in 2019 in three categories:

  • Eight grants of $50,000 per year over the span of two years (for a total award per program of $100,000) will go to OST programs with annual program budgets of $250,000 or more and annual organizational budgets of $500,000 or more.
  • Eight grants of $25,000 per year over the span of two years (for a total award per program of $50,000) will go to OST programs with annual organizational budgets of $250,000 or more.
  • Ten awards of $15,000 over one year will go to OST programs with annual organizational budgets of $150,000 or more, with a focus on providing professional development opportunities for OST staff.

In addition, 16 grantees from last year will receive the second payment of their two-year grants in 2019.

Grant recipients may use funds for technical assistance, enhancing direct service activities, and/or program expansion. The recipients of two-year grants will be chosen on the strength of their support for youth in the transition to the ninth grade, specifically around such indicators of success as on-time promotion; school attendance rates; improved behavior, grades and test scores; and/or the development of social and emotional skills. The Afterschool Alliance will convene a selection committee comprised of experts in the OST field to assess applicants and make grant recommendations.

Grant winners will be notified in May 2019.

"The New York Life Foundation's commitment to supporting children and families in out-of-school time programs is making an enormous difference in communities across the nation," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. "The Foundation’s grantmaking to out-of-school time programs has reached hundreds of thousands of children in the United States already, and this third year of the grant program will extend that reach even further. The grants help afterschool and summer learning programs keep children safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families, with a focus on a particularly critical period in children’s development. We’re very proud to continue our association with the New York Life Foundation, and grateful to the Foundation for its ongoing dedication to this important mission."

A sample of the 2018 Aim High winners included:

  • Boston, Massachusetts: A two-year $100,000 award to The Breakthrough Greater Boston afterschool program is enabling expansion of its program to Somerville, serving an additional 150 students each year. Once fully enrolled, the organization will offer six years of comprehensive college access programming to as many as 900 students annually across Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville.
  • Chicago, Illinois: A two-year $50,000 grant to Chicago's Instituto del Progreso Latino is enabling the expansion of its Keep Educating Youth program by hiring additional staff to provide mentoring and specific transitional and high school preparation activities, and to develop new customized life skills curricula.
  • Clarksdale, Mississippi: A $15,000 grant award to Clarksdale's Spring Initiative is supporting additional academic and therapeutic interventions to strengthen students' ability to learn, grow, and heal at its Big Spring afterschool program, an out-of-school time cohort of 17 6th- through 8th-grade students facing serious academic and/or emotional challenges, including seven students experiencing disabilities and special needs.
  • Reno, Nevada: A two-year $50,000 grant award to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows is helping expand the flagship Donald W. Reynolds Middle School Center, which takes a holistic approach that provides academic support, mentoring, a range of enrichment activities, and intentional recruitment efforts to help students mature into well-rounded teens who are prepared for success in high school and beyond.

Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $38 million in national middle school OST efforts. Information for prospective applicants is available at http://afterschoolalliance.org/awards.cfm, including the application and eligibility requirements. The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. on January 25, 2019. A webinar for prospective applicants is scheduled for December 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time. Questions from applicants should be directed to dgilbert@afterschoolalliance.org.

Media contact
Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937
Lacey_S_Siegel@newyorklife.com