SCRANTON, PA. – The City of Scranton awarded close to $775,000 to four groups focused on providing educational catch-up programs on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, during Teacher Appreciation Week. Many programs are aimed at solving pandemic learning losses created or worsened by COVID-19. Organizations applied for the grants that are part of the City’s $68.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
“The data is clear: pandemic learning losses for K-12 students was significant,” Mayor Paige G. Cognetti announced at the Jewish Community Center of Scranton, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton. “As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, these educational catch-up grants will help these organizations address many of the issues we know about and offer critical help for disproportionately impacted groups.”
In April 2022, citing research from Curriculum Associates, The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development noted that “the impact of the pandemic on K-12 student learning was significant.” Students were an average of four months behind in math and reading education. The pandemic also caused a likely increase in high school dropout rates and low enrollment in post-secondary education.
Through a spending plan approved by City Council in May 2022, the City allocated a total of $1.5 million to support educational catch-up programs, as well as affordable childcare programs. More than $725,000 in childcare grants were announced May 3.
Grant recipients, the funding they will receive, and their project details, in alphabetical order, are:
- Day Nursery Association, 332 Jefferson Avenue, $89,225 to support the organization’s early education program for children ages 16 months to five years. Day Nursery’s summer program continues the important work of preparing students for kindergarten, with up to 54 children served annually.
- Jewish Community Center of Scranton, 601 Jefferson Avenue, $185,000 to implement a new, comprehensive Pre-K curriculum to meet the needs of diverse learners. Funds will also support the JCC operation and subsidize program costs for children and families.
- Outreach – Center for Community Resources, 431 N. 7th Avenue, $250,000 for tutoring and expanded Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) programming for elementary students at the Skyview Apartment Complex, as well as educational support for middle and high school students involved in the juvenile justice system.
- United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, 425 Alder Street, $250,000 for a three-year expansion of its Family Literacy Program and additional tutoring for English Language Learners (ELL) in Scranton impacted by the pandemic. UNC has provided free adult education including English as a second language (ESL) instruction since its 2011 merger with the Scranton Council of Literary Advancement (SCOLA).
“This grant will provide us with the ability to enhance learning across the entire Pre-K spectrum while getting children ready for the next step in their schooling,” said Dan Cardonick, executive director of the Jewish Community Center of Scranton. “It also provides support for many families in need of care and raises the profile of childcare teachers.”
Additional information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton has been awarded $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.
Last modified: August 2, 2023