Research shows that chronic absenteeism, missing 10% (18 days) of the school year, severely reduces students’ ability to learn fundamental skills. As a result, chronically absent students are unlikely to ever catch up to their peers who attend school regularly. This learning loss results in lower math and reading scores and reduced graduation rates. During times of COVID-19, the ability to engage students and ensure class participation and attendance has become an even bigger challenge.
In response to this growing problem, the Community Foundation – in partnership with the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) – is offering Student Engagement and Attendance Mini-grants. Over 500 Muskegon County educators were surveyed, and 80% expressed a need for help in keeping students engaged in learning. Based on their feedback, this mini-grant opportunity was developed. The mini-grant round will support teachers in their effort to increase and sustain student engagement and attendance.
Public and private school teachers in Muskegon County are eligible to apply. Please submit one application per teacher.
Grants of up to $750* are available to support creative ideas designed to increase student engagement and attendance. Examples include, but are not limited to, magazine subscriptions, fidget items, headphones, teacher tutorials, and student incentives. Items that will not be funded include student internet access, devices (e.g., iPads/Chromebooks), staff time, and mileage.
In the spring of 2020, funds were awarded to Hackley Public Library and MADL to purchase WiFi hotspots. If internet access is an issue, we encourage partnership with your local library. Grants were also awarded to various partners to afford student devices (e.g., iPads/Chromebooks). If student devices are a need, please contact the Community Foundation at email@example.com.
*If your strategy to address this issue is a grade-level, building, or district-wide effort, please contact Amy Moore to discuss potentially larger grant awards to address the highest need: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Applications will be accepted until Monday, February 1, at 5:00 p.m. We will respond to the grant request as soon as possible, with final decisions by March 1.
Teacher Mini-grant applications should be submitted online via our Submittable service.
Please request only the amount of funding you need for the project. Only a finite number of dollars are available, and we want to support as many teachers as possible.
An evaluation report will be required for each mini-grant that is funded. Reports will be due by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Please read the instructions prior to creating your registration or completing the application.