Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the opening of the Promise Neighborhoods competition. “Promise Neighborhoods is modeled after that intensive anti-poverty program you may have heard of from New York: the Harlem Children’s Zone.
“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.”
According to the report from the Department of Education:
Communities around the nation will be vying for $10 million in planning grants to become Promise Neighborhood. The government is looking for communities far and wide — rural and urban, coast to coast — that have a distressed population and a collective will to change it.
For this first year of the program, Congress appropriated $10 million for Promise Neighborhoods. With these funds, ED will award one-year planning grants of up to $500,000 each for projects in approximately 20 distressed communities. The grants will support the development of a continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions designed to result in positive outcomes for children within those neighborhoods. The President has requested an additional $210 million for implementation grants and a new round of planning grants next year.
Nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education that are representative of the community are eligible to apply for grants under the program. Faith-based nonprofit organizations may also apply. Applicants are encouraged to establish partnerships with school districts, local governments and state governments, and others.
PolicyLink has created its own Promise Neighborhoods Institute to help communities submit their proposals, which are due by June 25. The website offers resources, assistance and the chance to connect with other groups trying to do the same thing — change their community by creating a pipeline for success.