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Transformation Waco gets $2.5M grant from the Department of Education

The funding will be used on several programs and services
Credit: kcen

WACO, Texas — Transformation Waco announced on Friday that it was the recipient of a $2,500,000 Department of Education grant as part of the department's Full-Service Community Schools Program.  The grant will go towards the "Transformation Waco Community Alliance: A Waco-Driven Solution to School Improvement" project. The project is aims to expand existing schools and increase both students' and families' access to academic support as well as social, emotional and mental health support.

Transformation Waco CEO Dr. Robin McDurham said in a release, “From our inception, TW’s community school model has been foundational to helping students grow academically and improve their well-being. We treat schools as neighborhood hubs that bring together academics, youth development, family and community engagement with an infusion of wraparound health and social services. The FSCS grant funding will help sustain our integrated systems across schools and help us fulfill our mission to educate all students through data-driven instruction and holistic support.”    

The press release also listed where grant funding will go:

  1.  Collaborative family engagement groups led by Grassroots Community Development will expand from two elementary campuses to three schools. Staff-led parent focus groups develop family-friendly campus cultures and equip parents with resources to engage in their child’s education. 
  2.  Community Youth Development programs will continue providing juvenile delinquency prevention services to groups in middle schools and one elementary school through after-school programming. 
  3.  Early childhood programming for at-risk Latinos on the Alta Vista campus through Inspiración will add personnel and expand programming from four days to five days a week – providing programming to ten cohorts and serving an additional 12-16 children and families weekly. 
  4.  Telehealth medical and behavior/mental health services through a partnership with Waco Family Medicine will expand counseling and health consultations for students.
  5.  An annual Vision Fest event to supplement the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Vision Center that provides free eye exams and glasses to all Waco ISD students ages 6+. Following a similar event in 2019, a new Rapoport Vision Fest aims to serve approximately 300 students with screenings, eyeglasses and any necessary follow-up referrals in a single day with collaboration from the community and optometrist offices. 
  6.  The National Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Inc. (PALs) Pilot Program is an initiative through the Waco Police Department that provides mentorship, service, athletics, recreational enrichment, educational opportunities and resources in the prevention of juvenile crime and violence. This program will serve a single campus in year one and add a secondary campus in year two. 
  7.  The School Readiness Initiative will launch at the Estella Maxey Place Apartments East Waco housing complex in the fall of 2023. The program will use the “Parents as Teachers” curriculum to serve up to twelve families with children ages infant to four every week. Families will attend a weekly cohort training at a centralized apartment unit. 
  8.  Service-learning projects are new enrichment opportunities that offer students experiential education. Students will design objectives to address a community problem, seek out community involvement and develop problem-solving skills. Thirty students at one elementary and one middle school will participate weekly in year one. By year two of the grant, projects will expand to all TW campuses. 
  9.  Prosper Waco’s UpSkill Employment Training Courses will be provided to TW families. UpSkill Waco is an initiative to increase equitable workforce training pathways in highdemand, high-paying occupations across McLennan County by offering skills training, credentials and job placement

The Department of Education announced this week $63M in grants would be going to 42 agencies and non-profits.

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