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Preschool for All

  The expansion of preschool has been a hot topic over the past year as debates on quality education heat up and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is being reauthorized. Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education, announced on the 50th anniversary of ESEA that there should be new laws to ensure strong opportunities for all students including children ages 0-5.  The latest version of the ESEA was the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Secretary Duncan’s vision for the new ESEA includes aligning preschool to K-12 and advocating for strong preschool programs across the nation, know as the “Preschool for All” plan. “By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool. That

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English Learner Guidance

The U.S. Departments of Education (DOE) and Justice (DOJ) recently released guidance documents reaffirming the obligation under federal law that public schools must ensure English learner students have equal access to high-quality education. This comes on the 40th anniversary of the landmark case Lau v. Nichols that gave rise to the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) which prohibits discrimination in schools so all students have the opportunity to succeed. The goal is for all students, regardless of their language background or English proficiency, to have the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the EEOA, public schools must ensure that English learner students can participate equally in educational programs.

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Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps Funding Available

  The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) have partnered to create the Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps funding opportunity. AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations to recruit, train, and manage AmeriCorps members during a defined term of service. This AmeriCorps funding opportunity provides grants to programs that help youth who have been adjudicated in the juvenile justice system, convicted in the criminal justice system, or identified as “at-risk” for incarceration, to serve as AmeriCorps members. Youth will have the chance to participate in a national service program and receive meaningful mentoring while they serve. Public or private nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, local or state governments, veterans’ service

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National Volunteer Week is Next Week!

  April 12-18th is National Volunteer Week, a week dedicated to encouraging individuals to find creative ways to give back to their communities. By uniting to serve the community, participants demonstrate that working together can accomplish goals and challenges, and encourage a culture of philanthropy. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 as a program of Points of Light, an organization dedicated to volunteer service that helps to mobilize millions of people to solve problems, increase impact, and create a philanthropic culture. Potential volunteers can connect with opportunities in their area, or even find an opportunity abroad through many different projects. Visit Points of Light Hands On Action center, to connect with over 250 Volunteer Action Centers and pick an

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Investing in Innovation Fund

  The U.S. Department of Education has released the latest information regarding the 2015 Innovative Fund (i3) Development Grants. The Investing in Innovation Fund was established in 2009 with the goal of supporting local educational agencies and nonprofit organizations in partnership with educational agencies. All programs applying for the grants must have the goal of improving student achievement and attainment, including expanding practices that improve student growth and achievement. Programs must have a demonstrated impact on closing achievement gaps, increasing high school graduation rates, increasing college enrollment and completion rates, and decreasing drop out rates. For this year’s i3 Grants competition, organizations have the option to submit a pre-application prior to April 29, 2015. Each pre-application will be reviewed and scored

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NAEYC’s New Strategic Direction

  Every year, businesses make the dash to evaluate their strategic plans and refine goals. Nonprofits are no exception. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is leading the charge in creating a completely new and innovative Strategic Direction. These new changes were formed through utilizing the opinions of NAEYC members, leaders, staff and volunteers that were asked about NAEYC’s previous mission, vision, and goals. The new Strategic Direction includes a new mission statement, a new vision statement, and a commitment to the core values. With five strategic priorities set (or strategic goals) the NAEYC is hoping to accomplish the following in 2015: Children ages birth through eight have access to high-quality learning. Early childhood education profession demonstrates

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Office of Innovation and Improvement 2015 Grant Competitions

The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) has major plans for grant competitions during the remainder of the current fiscal year ending on September 30, 2015. Headquartered within the Department of Education, OII will conduct 11 grant competitions in six program areas, including: Arts in Education, Charter Schools, Investing in Innovation, Opportunity Scholarship, Ready to Learn Television and Supporting Effective Educator Development. The earliest deadline is April 4, 2015. The grant competitions are listed below. Each of the grants have specific requirements that need to be met in order to apply. The Arts in Education National Program grant is to support high-quality arts education projects and programs for children and youth. Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) is a grant available to

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National Head Start Association

From cross-country photo exhibits, to Nike Go Smart on the U.S. Capitol lawn, to the Annual Parent Conference in New Orleans, the National Head Start Association (NHSA) had a busy year in 2014. To kick off 2015, NHSA members took part in the Winter Leadership Institute conference in late January to discuss important policies and issues facing the Early Learning community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs focus on early childhood development and education, and are administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Head Start supports school readiness for young children from low-income families through local early childhood education agencies. Programs provide support for the mental, social, and emotional development

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Coca–Cola Foundation Funds Education Initiatives Year-Round

The Coca-Cola Company and its global philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, partner with nonprofit organizations worldwide that address community needs and priorities in a meaningful way. Funding is provided for programs in one of four categories, including education. Educational support for communities focuses on scholarships, school dropout prevention, access to education programs, and other initiatives. All requests for funding must meet specific guidelines and align with the global pillars of the Coca-Cola Foundation. To determine if an organization is eligible for Coca-Cola community support, the organization can fill out an Eligibility Questionnaire. Applications for grants or sponsorships may be submitted throughout the year and must be submitted online. Any applications faxed or mailed will be returned to the organization. Visit

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Summer Learning Program Enrollment to Increase in 2015?

  A recent Wallace Foundation report reveals higher numbers of parents enrolling children in summer learning programs.  The data collected indicates that more parents are interested in high quality summer learning programs for their children.  Afterschool Alliance compiled a similar report called America After 3PM highlighting an increase in participation rates and demand for high quality summer learning programs. Results from the 2014 America After 3PM survey found that, 33% of families had at least one child participate in a summer learning program in the summer of 2013; a 25% increase from the summer of 2009. The survey also indicates the demand for summer learning programs is high. Fifty-one percent of those families surveyed say they would like for their children to

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