Full Press Release on Mexico School District Multi-Million Dollar Full-Service Community Grant

C2C Partnership is pleased to announce that the Mexico community received one of 30 Full-Service Community School grants that was awarded last week by the Department of Education.

The grant will provide a total of $2.5 million over the next five years to provide programming and supports needed to address challenges identified by the community.

The funding will enhance C2C Partnership, a collaboration of The Tyronn Lue Fund and Partners for Rural Impact.

C2C Partnership is committed to improving cradle to career outcomes in the community and builds on Lue’s ongoing philanthropic efforts in Mexico.

The five-year commitment will bring a multi-million-dollar investment to support ongoing efforts to accelerate educational achievement and community development.

“We are honored and grateful to have been awarded the Full-Service Community Grant,” said Melissa Chastain, Superintendent of the Mexico 59 School District.

Chastain noted that “research indicates, positive learning environments where students receive key services–including access to mental health and health services–are critical for supporting academic success for all students.

The generous support will empower Mexico Public Schools to enhance our services, strengthen community bonds, and create a lasting impact. Together, thanks to the support of C2C Partnership, we are building a brighter future for all.”

During the grant writing process, the C2C Partnership team facilitated a series of community conversations with local students, families, faith leaders, government leaders, business leaders, school staff, IHE’s, workforce, early childhood and interested neighbors to determine what it would take for all young people in Mexico to thrive and succeed.

Kerri Ferrari, Executive Director of C2C Partnership, said “we are thrilled to collaborate on our first of many projects with Mexico Public Schools to provide more resources and supports to all students and educators to improve positive outcomes for the children of Mexico.

As part of the Full-Service Community School Grant, C2C Partnership plans to hire a project director, as well as a site coordinator for each school to assist in implementing this holistic approach to education.”

The coordinators will focus on family and community engagement, in addition to providing extended learning opportunities such as tutoring, mentoring, after-school, before-school, and summer school programs.

They will also support efforts to address challenges facing students, such as food security, utility relief, transportation, and housing.

When asked how the federal funding will enhance work of the C2C Partnership, Coach Tyronn Lue, a key partner and funder for the work, said, “It’s amazing that C2C can put a coordinator in every school and ensure students and families will have help to access the resources they need. I am honored to play a part in this win for everyone in Mexico.”

The community conversations that were held over the last year will shape how the resources are deployed.

The process identified several key challenges that will be addressed, including the following:

  • increasing learning time to close achievement gaps due to the pandemic and other challenges young people face,
  • supporting authentic engagement of families and caregivers in the education of young people,
  • providing holistic supports inclusive of housing, food security, transportation, and utility assistance, and
  • creating interventions and supports to reduce chronic absenteeism which acts as a negative multiplier in student learning.

According to a press release by the Department of Education, the nearly $74 million investment in Full-Service Community Schools builds on the Department’s extensive record of supporting academic success, expanding access to mental health and health services, supporting strong family engagement and community partnerships, and helping schools provide students and families with the resources they need to thrive.

When asked how the grant will support the school system’s efforts, Chastain said it enhances their ability to “to integrate student supports that address out-of-school barriers to learning through partnerships with social and health service agencies and providers.

We know that our students learn better, have increased attendance, and are more engaged in their learning environment when their whole needs are met.”

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