The United Ways of Central Massachusetts (UWCM), North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) and South Central Massachusetts (UWSCM) are pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for youth and teens in Central MA. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded $4.5 Million over two years to provide supports to better serve kids from pre-k to grade 12 during after-school and summer. The goal is to help After School and Out of School Time (ASOST) programs rebound and strengthen quality of services from impacts of COVID-19 and thereby improve learning and social-emotional outcomes and access to enrichment opportunities for youth impacted as well.
Mary O’Coin, Executive Director, UWSCM stated, “working with new programs in collaboration with our local school systems will increase awareness of different ways to learn and help these students rebound from the years of reduced in person learning and socialization.” UWSCM Board President Jim Croteau, added, “school aged children have missed out on many social and emotional learning experiences due to the pandemic. We are grateful to DESE for these funds to support new programs and we’re thrilled to offer this opportunity that will provide an exciting after-school enrichment and summertime experience to the students in the towns we serve. “
Tim Garvin, UWCM President and CEO was thrilled that the United Ways of Central MA are coming together to help the young people of our community to rebound, “This new funding opportunity will be transformational for our youth over the next two years. The challenges brought about by this pandemic have been overwhelming to those in our service areas. This much-needed support will strengthen existing programs and create new initiatives to nurture and enrich the lives of the most vulnerable children and youth in our communities.”
Grants will be used to support project-based learning, enrichment activities and comprehensive student support services. Most grants will be between $5,000 and $50,000. Together, our United Ways serve 56 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts. Grants will be made to 501c3 organizations and municipal governments. We encourage programs/efforts to apply as we are seeking to offer diverse options for kids, youth and teens.
“We look forward to working with our United Way partners to advance youth opportunity during a time when mental health, enrichment, and academic supports are needed most in our community,” said Kory Eng, President and CEO of UWNCM.
The Request for Proposal for the first round of grants is due February 25 and will support efforts during the period of March 1 – June 24, 2022. Grants may support efforts during any part of that time frame. The next round will support efforts for Summer 2022 and will be available March 1 and due on March 25, 2022. Funding is available for the 2022-2023 school year and Summer 2023. Programs that continue their work will be asked to re-apply.