OCF Granting $41.2 Million of State Funds for Summer Academic and Enrichment Programs

Two new grant programs are designed to address learning inequities with Oregon children and families.

OCF is administering $40 million of state-funded grants for community organizations to provide summer enrichment activities for K-12 aged students, such as day camps and outdoor programs as well as $1.2 million earmarked for parent-child summer programming for families with young children. The move is part of a substantial investment by the State of Oregon to address learning inequities and help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Oregon children and families.

“The pandemic has caused widespread learning loss and social-emotional setbacks with youth, while also amplifying learning disparities across racial and socioeconomic lines,” says Lisa Bermudez, Development & Marketing Director for Bend Science Station. “The expertise, training and connections of OCF will help organizations to successfully re-engage youth — particularly marginalized youth — and make up for lost learning this summer.”

OCF is administering two different grant programs, both funded by the State of Oregon:

K-12 Summer Learning Grants — $40 Million

The K-12 Summer Learning Grants prioritize community-based programs for underserved youth and families that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The grants support public and nonprofit organizations that provide community-based programming including:

  • Enrichment programs for learning outside of the classroom.
  • Arts, sports, mentoring, workforce development, science, museum education and many other indoor and outdoor activities.
  • A priority to programs that serve K-12 aged youth from communities of color, youth from low-income families, and youth living in under-resourced rural communities.

“Oregon Community Foundation has a history of investing in community-based out-of-school time and summer programs across the state. National and local data shows that this programming helps build a sense of belonging, develop critical social emotional skills, and promote greater school attendance and engagement,” says Belle Cantor, Senior Program Officer for Education, OCF. “The trauma of school disruption as well as living with an elevated level of anxiety and uncertainty can have long-term negative impacts on children. This is magnified for children who already experience racial inequity.”

Grants are intended to be used towards ensuring youth and families have access to summer learning and enrichment programs. The pandemic has had wide and varied impacts on youth and families across the state and therefore these grants are intended to ensure youth and families have opportunities to help them address the educational, social, emotional, and other impacts of the pandemic.

OCF is reviewing applications and awarding grants on a rolling basis to ensure programs have funds in hand to begin planning and implementation. OCF is seeking the advice of a diverse, community-based advisory committee throughout the granting process to ensure that the program is meeting community priorities.

First Round of K-12 Summer Learning Grants Announced

These are just a few of the frontline community-based organizations that OCF supported in the first round of state-funded summer program funding:

  • Crook County Kids $40,000 Summer Learning Grant: Crook County Kids provides summer programming for Crook County elementary-aged youth to participate in supervised, engaging and interactive activities that promote learning and confidence.
  • Neighbors for Kids $80,000 Summer Learning Grant: Neighbors for Kids supports families in Lincoln County with summer programs that include healthy food, educational enrichment activities, and field trips.
  • NE STEAM Coalition $100,000 Summer Learning Grant: NE STEAM Coalition ensures that high school-aged youth in the Portland Metro area, particularly African American children, have equitable access to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education, activities, and exposure to careers in technology.

The K-12 Summer Learning Grants program supports community-based programs that serve youth and families that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and related crises. 

The application form can be found on the OCF website at: oregoncf.org/grants-andscholarships/grants/k-12-summer-learning-2021-grant-program.

Early Childhood Summer Support Grants — $1.2M

The Early Childhood Summer Support Grants support enrichment programs for learning by providing services for approximately 600 children (from birth to 5 years of age) and their parents. These grants help deliver 12 weeks of parent-child summer programming, including group classes and activities that offer social and learning opportunities for young children and their parents, play groups and kindergarten readiness programs.

“The birth to five years are the most critical years for the development of young brains, and parent-child relationships are the foundation of healthy development,” says Mary Louise McClintock, Senior Education Strategy and Policy Advisor, Oregon Community Foundation.

“Through Early Childhood Summer Support grants OCF will support opportunities for young children and their parents – especially those disproportionately impacted by the trauma and isolation of the pandemic – to play and learn with other children and families.”

The application window has closed for the Early Childhood grants and awards will be announced soon.