On February 16, 2022

Gov. Scott and Sen. Sanders announce $4.8 million of new grants for afterschool and summer programs

Governor Phil Scott, Senator Bernie Sanders and Vermont Afterschool announced Feb. 9 that a new round of grants for afterschool and summer programs is now open for a wide variety of organizations — including non-profits, municipalities, and licensed/regulated providers of school age childcare.

The announcement follows the successful Summer Matters grant initiative, which used funds secured by Senator Sanders in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide enriching and engaging summer programs for Vermont students.

Governor Scott and Senator Sanders, in partnership with Vermont Afterschool, are now offering a new, $4.8 million grant program for summer 2022 and 2023, and the 2022-2023 school year. These grants will continue to reduce gaps in our current summer and after school system by addressing affordability, increasing availability, building long-lasting partnerships to promote sustainability, and piloting innovative approaches.

“It is no secret that the last few years have been incredibly challenging for all Vermonters. This is especially true for our young people. I am proud that last year’s grants used historic federal funding to help Vermont students with struggles ranging from lost classroom time to missed after school activities and critical socialization. To all of the organizations who prioritized making your programs free, know that you have my special thanks,” said Senator Sanders. “The goal here is that all Vermont students — regardless of their income — have the opportunities that make summer fun and enriching. I am pleased that this next round of funding will continue the good work of afterschool programming, creating the programs that our students want and need. Together, we can ensure young people throughout our state, from our kindergarteners to our incoming seniors in high school, have safe, supportive, enriching, and fun places to spend their summers.”

“Offering universal afterschool and summer programs is a key strategy for prevention and healthy development, and a priority for my Administration,” said Governor Scott. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made to ensure that all Vermont kids have access to these important opportunities. I’m incredibly grateful for our partnership with Senator Sanders, and Vermont Afterschool, as we work to make this vision a reality.”

“We are grateful to Governor Scott and Senator Sanders for their strong support for afterschool and summer programs. The benefits of these programs are enormous and far-reaching,” said Holly Morehouse, executive director, Vermont Afterschool. “Afterschool and summer programs provide a safe space where children can engage, connect, learn, and grow; and they offer peace of mind and stability to the working families on whom Vermont’s businesses and economy rely. As we continue to work to address needs created or worsened by the pandemic, these new investments in afterschool and summer will enable more Vermont youth to thrive, while making our state stronger and more successful.”

Additionally, to compliment these grant funds for community partners, Governor Scott’s FY23 Budget proposes an additional $2.8 million for school-based summer and afterschool programs. These funds will be targeted to school districts that have faced challenges standing up afterschool programs.

The Governor reiterated that these grant funds to community-based summer and afterschool providers, plus the additional $2.8 million for schools, will act as an important bridge to the more sustainable funding from the cannabis sales tax revenue established in Act 164 and dedicated to afterschool and summer programs for Vermont’s kids.

For more information visit: vermontafterschool.org/expanding-access-grants.

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