SchoolSmartKC offering grants to address learning loss

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Posted at 6:06 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 07:45:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — SchoolSmartKC, a nonprofit focused on education in Kansas City, Missouri, is offering $2 million in grants to help students make up any “learning loss” from remote and virtual settings.

When schools around Kansas City, Missouri, transitioned to remote learning last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts in the education world started looking at the data.

Noah Devine, the director of educational investments for SchoolSmartKC, was one of the people looking at the data.

His nonprofit identified two areas where leaders felt students needed extra attention to make up for any “learning loss” from transitioning to remote learning.

First, helping young students learn to read.

“If you’re a 5, 6, or 7-year-old, your reading is just not quite there yet to really access things in a virtual atmosphere,” Devine pointed out.

The second target for SchoolSmartKC is helping high school students stay on track to graduate.

“Frankly, [what we heard was] school was just falling on the back burner. Not because [students] don’t care, it’s because they have other responsibilities,” Devine said.

SchoolSmartKC is now accepting proposals from tutoring companies, social services agencies and educational nonprofits to use the $2 million to fulfill those goals.

“We know there is going to be a huge amount of need at the start of next school year,” predicted Sarah Reape, the regional director for The Literacy Lab in Kansas City, Missouri.

Her organization offers tutoring for students. It will be applying to receive grant funding from SchoolSmartKC.

If the nonprofit picks The Literacy Lab’s proposal, Reape said The Literacy Lab will be able to offer its services over the summer, instead of only during the school year, and take on more students in the fall.

Proposals for the early learning goals are due Monday, April 19. Groups submitting a proposal for the high school goals have until April 23.

Visit SchoolSmartKC’s website for information on how to get involved.

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