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Partnership Establishes ARP ESSER III Competitive Grant Program; A-State and AOSN to Lead $25 Million Project


LITTLE ROCK — The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has tapped Arkansas State University and its sponsored initiative, the Arkansas Out of School Network, to oversee the American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER III sub-awards for afterschool, summer, and extended-year learning programs to support student learning and social emotional development.

A-State and AOSN will accept applications, distribute funding, and manage the sub-award process.

The award period, which began July 1, will run through Dec. 30, 2024, and provide funding for academic support, skill building, social emotional learning, health and wellness, enrichment, and workforce development for K-12 students.

Eligible applicants include school districts, entities that partner with school districts, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, licensed youth development programs, public libraries, nonprofit organizations, career and technical programs, public and private institutions of higher learning and others as determined by AOSN and approved by the DESE.  Grants will be awarded by A-State and AOSN through a competitive process.

Priority funding will be given to programs that serve a high percentage of students disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  Applications must also plan to address the academic impact of lost instructional time on student learning through evidence-based summer programs and comprehensive afterschool programs.

Interested applicants should submit the Letter of Intent (LOI) to AOSN by Aug. 6 and submit the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) by Aug. 30, 2021. Award notices will be sent by Sept. 15, 2021. More information regarding the application process and required documents can be accessed through the AOSN website at www.aosn.org.

"The Arkansas Out of School Network is a sponsored initiative of Arkansas State University and is housed within the College of Education and Behavioral Science and the Department of Childhood Services. AOSN is one of the Fifty (50) State Afterschool Networks and supports programs statewide through training and technical assistance, quality initiatives, and advocacy,” said AOSN network coordinator, Laveta Wills-Hale.

"Since 2005, AOSN has been a leader in the afterschool and summer learning field and we applaud AOSN's work to ensure children and youth have access to quality learning experiences during the out-of-school time hours. We extend our thanks to the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education for making this possible,” added Jo Ann Nalley, director of Arkansas State University Childhood Services.

For more information about the afterschool and summer learning initiative contact Laveta Wills-Hale, network coordinator, 501-660-1012 or lwillshale@AState.edu.


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