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AISD Programs Receive Nearly $200,000 in Grants for Summer Youth Programs

Central Texas Summer STEM Collaborative supports 20 programs aimed at bridging education gap

Austin ISD programs will receive about $200,000 of $908,109 total grants given by the Central Texas Summer STEM Funders Collaborative to nonprofit organizations and schools.

The goal of the Summer STEM Grant Program is to help combat summer learning loss experienced by economically disadvantaged children in Central Texas by engaging them in STEM learning. Such a targeted approach aims to lay the groundwork for building a STEM worker pipeline. Currently, Central Texas’ demand for such workers far exceeds the supply.  

The grants are given to summer programs focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through high-quality time outside of class in informal educational programs. The programs must be for students K-12 in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math.

“Summer learning loss accounts for as much as two-thirds of the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers,” said Executive Director of the KDK-Harman Foundation Melanie Moore. “The KDK-Harman Foundation is working to leverage resources across the Austin area to provide high-quality academic enrichment activities for K-12 students who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities.  We are thrilled that so many other funders share this vision and are so eager to work together for our community's students.”

AISD Central Texas Summer STEM Collaborative grant recipients are:

AISD Department of School, Family and Community Education$50,000 for Camp STAARburst

Camp STAARburst provides summer STEM opportunities at Widen and Houston elementary schools through hands-on enrichment activities. The goal is to increase high school graduation rates and help students prepare for college and the workforce.

Eastside Memorial High School and schools feeding into Eastside $45,000 for the Summer STEM & Robotics Academy

This is the fifth year that elementary schools feeding into Eastside Memorial High School will receive this grant. The Elementary Summer STEM & Robotics Academy is a three-week summer program for second- through sixth-grade students.

Ann Richards School Foundation$44,469 for the Ann Richards School Summer STEM Program

This is the second year for Ann Richards School to receive this grant for its summer STEM program. The program will provide a variety of options for middle school girls to engage in STEM—from biomedical engineering and aquaponics to film and music. 

Akins High School$56,000for STEMBridgeSummer Program

STEMBridge makes computer science programs accessible to high school students who might otherwise lack such opportunities.

“AISD applauds The KDK-Harman Foundation and funders of the Summer STEM Funders Collaborative for investing in STEM programs throughout Central Texas. Thank you for allowing students of all backgrounds to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer,” said Michelle Wallis, executive director of AISD’s Innovation and Development Department.

In addition to this funding, many other grants will benefit AISD students.

The collaborative, composed of local charitable foundations as well as local high-tech companies, is actively developing a local STEM ecosystem. This ecosystem follows national best practices to improve opportunities for students from low-income families across formal, informal and other learning environments.

“Samsung is dedicated to supporting the local STEM pipeline by building up our Central Texas community programs. This collaborative was a fantastic platform to learn and address the high needs of summer learning loss,” said Samsung Austin Semiconductor Community Affairs and Public Relations Specialist Julie Fisher.

For many children, the summer months mean enriching experiences such as camp, travel and museum visits, but for others summer is filled with boredom, lost opportunities and risk. This disparity in learning opportunities can contribute to low-income youth being less likely to graduate from high school or enter college. 

“At Intel we believe it’s vital for students to continue learning over the summer to prevent remediation at the beginning of the school year. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients for providing an array of hands-on, innovative STEM camps that will keep students excited and engaged,” said Intel Corporation Public Affairs Manager Dawn Jones.

 

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About the Central Texas Summer STEM Funders Collaborative

 

The Central Texas Summer STEM Funders Collaborative was founded in 2015 with the goal of combatting summer learning loss and decreasing the disparity in educational opportunities for low-income youth, increasing their chances to graduate high school or enter college.

 

The Central Texas Summer STEM Funders Collaborative is made up of the KDK-Harman Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, KLE Foundation, RGK Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, Intel, Samsung, IBM, Entrepreneurs Foundation, Central Texas Discover Engineering and Texas Girls Collaborative.

 

The collaborative funds high-quality Summer STEM Programs to economically disadvantaged children in Central Texas. Grantseekers submitted an application to the collaborative, which were then reviewed and considered by multiple funders.  By streamlining the proposal process, the collaborative hopes to strengthen programs, share best practices and increase impact.