BALTIMORE, MD (August 3, 2021) – Supporting student social and emotional health and academic acceleration as the State emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced the availability of $19.5 million in grant funding for after school programs as part of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. This MSDE grant program will provide academic enrichment opportunities during after-school hours for Maryland children — particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.
“Maryland’s after-school programs provide critical services to our children, supporting overall youth development, academic achievement, and social-emotional wellbeing,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These grants will help establish additional community programs that rally behind our students, especially those most impacted by the pandemic.”
The purpose of the grant is to provide funding for the implementation of evidence-based, comprehensive after-school programs that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on certain student populations. Grants are for a three-year time span (ending in August of 2024) and range from a minimum of $250,000 to a maximum of $900,000.
“After school programs will be an important tool in supporting our students as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and move forward,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “Providing homework assistance and tutoring, channeling students’ creativity, ensuring physical exercise, and more, these extended day opportunities support our students in achieving academic and post-graduation success.”
This MSDE after school grant program supports the development of ARP ESSER-based assistance to aid eligible schools including Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools (defined as schools in the lowest five percent of Title I schools, high schools with graduation rates less than 67 percent), Title I Schools that serve at least 40 percent of students from low-income families, and other schools determined by the local school systems to need intervention and support. Additional priority points will be granted to applicants that propose to serve local school systems in which 50 percent or fewer students received in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as applications that integrate social-emotional learning.
Local school systems, public charter schools, nonprofit 501(c)(3), faith-based, or other private or public organizations interested in creating after-school learning centers may apply. The deadline for application submission is Friday, August 20 at 5:00 PM. Proposal review will begin September 8 and after-school program providers will be notified of awards by October 15.
The RFPs, a walkthrough of the application, and more information about the ARP ESSER fund can be found on the ARP ESSER fund webpage.