State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that California community-based organizations will be able to apply for grants to address the social isolation experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of its ongoing efforts to address the pandemic’s continued impact on students, the California Department of Education will award grants of up to $250,000* each to community-based organizations that can demonstrate their ability to partner with schools and districts to provide programs and supports to offset the social isolation experienced by students during the pandemic and help them build healthy social connections.
The application process and criteria are available on the CDE website today, Dec. 8, 2021, and the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. The grants are funded through a $2 million appropriation in the 2021–22 California State Budget (AB 130, Chapter 44, Sec. 164).
“During this extremely difficult time, many young people have found themselves disconnected from others. There have been major spikes in levels of depression among California school students during the pandemic,” Thurmond said. “Even as schools opened for in-person instruction in the 2021–22 school year, many students may still be experiencing some form of social isolation—especially because many students have been off campus for nearly two years. It’s critical that our schools and districts have the means to work with community-based organizations that demonstrate deep experience and a history of working to help counter social isolation in youth.”
The funds can be used for programs including, but not limited to:
-Training for students or staff
-Counseling or case management
-Supporting peer mediation or youth leadership programs
-Events and convenings
Applicants may request up to $250,000 per grant. Applicants may be able to serve students in any part of the state but should be able to demonstrate how their work might support lower income students or students from diverse student groups including students of color, LGBTQ+ youth, English learners, foster youth, or other groups of students who have experienced marginalization or mistreatment of any kind and would benefit from a program of this nature.
All questions regarding the grant process can be directed by email to EquityGrants@cde.ca.gov.
Applications for amounts exceeding $250,000 will be considered if the program application is well-justified and the budget is realistic and well-supported. For more information, please refer to the Request for Applications Social Isolation Supports web page.