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NCR Foundation awards WBE

In April 2020, the Innovation Fund Foundation (IFF) and the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE) announced the COVID-19 Response Fund grant awards. The application window was 15 days long, and invited traditional public schools, charter schools, and school districts around Georgia to submit program ideas for funding of initiatives designed to mitigate the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The areas of funding priority included: distance/remote learning support, initiatives in support of at-risk student populations (including mental health), and initiatives to support supplemental learning.

Eight hundred and ninety grant applications were received, totaling approximately $8.6 million in necessary funds to implement these initiatives.

On May 18, 11 grant applications were approved totaling $100,000. Since that time, the IFF and the GFPE have been partnering with private foundations around the state to secure additional funding for some of the remaining unfunded applications.

The next round of funding in the amount of $131,940 is made possible by donations from the R. Howard Dobbs Foundation, NCR Foundation, Rotary Club of Brookhaven, and the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation. These donations will specifically enable additional school/district program initiatives designed to mitigate the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Bainbridge Elementary, a rural school in southwest Georgia was awarded $10,000 for distance learning and will provide devices and connectivity to students to support distance learning. The district’s ultimate goal is to move toward a one device to one student model. Located in one of the hardest hit areas during the COVID-19 health crisis, the model would help curb the spread of the disease as the school year begins.

Over 800 grant application submissions are still unfunded. Companies, civic organizations or foundations interested in supporting this effort should contact Paige Pushkin, Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education. (ppushkin@doe.k12.ga.us)