United Way of Greater Newark Relaunches Newark Thrives! By Offering First-Ever ‘Accelerating Summer Learning Opportunities’ Grants

United Way of Greater Newark Relaunches Newark Thrives! By Offering First-Ever ‘Accelerating Summer Learning Opportunities’ Grants

United We Thrive! campaign, mini-grants for program providers will combat summer learning loss, increase out-of-school opportunities for Newark youth and families

(Newark, NJ) May 12, 2021 – Today, Catherine Wilson, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Newark (UWGN), is pleased to announce the relaunch of Newark Thrives!, the Out-of-School Time (OST) network for the city of Newark, by opening the first ‘Accelerating Summer Learning Opportunities’ grants for program providers within the Newark Thrives! network. The United We Thrive! relaunch campaign will focus on combatting academic and summer learning loss by investing in accelerated summer learning opportunities for youth and implementing a quality improvement system that includes access to assessments/evaluations, capacity-building initiatives, and professional development for youth program providers.

With this relaunch, and by opening these grants, UWGN is committing to investing in OST program providers through a reinvestment fund for summer learning. Currently there are over 250 OST after-school and summer programs in the Newark Thrives! network serving more than 20,000 young people.

“Academic learning loss over the summer has always been a concern for youth, but especially for youth in urban communities who have fewer out-of-school time opportunities; this issue has just been further amplified by the pandemic,” said Wilson. “Studies have shown that children in urban communities are one academic year behind other children in more affluent neighborhoods. The United We Thrive! relaunch campaign is going to focus on providing additional funds and accelerating summer learning opportunities, and we couldn’t be more excited to make this announcement.”

“This relaunch will allow us to enhance the quality work already underway in our out-of-school time programs. Through our reassessments of and investments in quality OST programs, we can create capacity-building initiatives, offer professional development opportunities, and provide grants that accelerate summer learning opportunities,” said Dr. Traymanesha Lamy, Director of Education, UWGN. “Our goal is to implement strategies supported by Every Hour Counts and the National Summer Learning Association to measure the impact of our new quality improvement system and share our findings on the local, state, and national level.”

To be eligible for the $1,000 to $5,000 grants, program providers must:

1.)   Be a member of the Newark Thrives! OST Network with a signed Impact Agreement, which is required for completion of the grant*.

2.)   Serve youth from the Greater Newark community in a 4 to 6-week summer learning experience.

3.)   Be able to provide a final grant report that includes evaluation and assessment findings, testimonials, and images (photos, illustrations and/or sample student work) highlighting the summer learning experience.

UWGN is committed to working to convene, collaborate, and invest in OST program partners to enhance the quality of educational programs offered throughout the city of Newark. For more information about how to apply for the Accelerating Summer Learning Opportunities grants, visit: https://uwnewark.org/newark-thrives-mini-grant/

If you’re interested in donating to Newark Thrives!, visit: https://uwnewark.org/give-now/ and designate your donation to “summer learning.”

About United Way of Greater Newark

United Way of Greater Newark’s (UWGN) mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating and investing in strategies to improve outcomes for children and families. UWGN has a long history of convening disaster funds in the community, including having established the 9/11 fund, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and, most recently, the Newark Water Fund. In order to continue providing support to the community and its non-profit partners during the COVID-19 crisis, UWGN has established the Community COVID-19 Fund. This is a regional fund serving its 13-municipality footprint including Newark, Irvington, East Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Orange, Belleville, Nutley, Maplewood, Kearny, Harrison, East Newark and North Arlington.

For more information about United Way of Greater Newark, please visit UWGreaterNewark.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UWGreaterNewark and #LiveUnited.

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