Grants to combat learning losses awarded in Scranton
Four Scranton-based educational organizations received grants from the city totaling $775,000 to help combat learning loss because of the pandemic.
The funding will help bolster curriculum, tutoring and summer programs.
Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti announced the grant awards on Wednesday, May 10, at the Jewish Community Center in Scranton.
“With the American Rescue Plan we are able to help our young people catch up on education," she said, standing at a podium in front of over a dozen students in small blue chairs.
Citing research from Curriculum Associates, the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development noted that because of the pandemic, students in kindergarten to twelfth grade are on average four months behind in math and reading. The research also found the pandemic has likely impacted high school dropout rates and caused low enrollment in postsecondary education.
United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) received a $250,000 grant to expand its Family Literacy Program and expand tutoring for English language learners.
Teri Lynn Bretchel, UNC’s Director of Community Education, said virtual learning at home during the pandemic created a new set of challenges for English language learners.
"We really want to be able to focus on those children and support their families to better promote the education that they're going through right now," she said.
Tutoring provides discipline that also helps with socialization skills that were also damaged during the pandemic, said Lisa Durkin, president and CEO of UNC.
"All of this is going to ... help patch back up some of that learning loss," she said.
Outreach – Center for Community Resources also received $250,000 for additional tutoring. Previously the organization offered only one day of tutoring per week. Now they will be able to provide two or three days, said Travis Prince, workforce development case manager.
The grant will also help Outreach expand its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programming at the Skyview Apartment Complex in South Scranton and provide educational support for middle and high school students involved in the juvenile justice system.
“The best way it's going to help is to add more time in days that we can dedicate towards the kids," he said.
Education catch-up program grants were also awarded to:
- Day Nursery Association: $89,225 to support the organization’s early education program for children ages 16 months to five years. The summer program serves up to 54 children annually and prepares them for kindergarten
- Jewish Community Center of Scranton (JCC): $185,000 to implement a new comprehensive pre-K curriculum to meet the needs of diverse learners. The grant will also support the JCC operation and subsidize program costs for children and families.
The City of Scranton received $68.7 million in funding from the federal economic stimulus bill. The grants awarded on May 10 are the most recent round of funding from the American Rescue Plan that Scranton has awarded to community organizations.
Other grants include: Affordable Childcare (May 2023)
- Agency for Community EmPOWERment of NEPA (ACE): $100,000
- Boys & Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania: $223,275
- Discovery Montessori: $160,000
- Greater Scranton YMCA: $62,500
- United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania: $130,000
- WellKind School for Early Learners: $50,000
Small Business Startup and Expansion (January and March 2023)
- Adezzo: $71,000
- Downtown Deli: $77,234
- Little Wild Refillery: $19,376
- Nlyten Corp., doing business as GUIDE: $100,000
- Retro Café: $53,000
- Showcase Ventures Inc.: $100,000
- Spice Asian Market: $22,673.55
- The Loft: $7,486.75
- Unison Workforce Technologies: $100,000
- Urban Co-Works: $100,000
Wage Boost and Recovery (December 2022 and January 2023)
- Penn Shadecrafters: $50,000
- Bee's Backyard, Crotti's on Ash and Penn Shadecrafters: all $25,000
Health and Wellness grants (November 2022)
- Bhutanese Cultural Foundation of Scranton Association: $25,000
- Center for Health and Human Services Research and Action: $50,000
- Child Hunger Outreach Partners: $50,000
- Meals on Wheels of Northeastern PA: $15,000
- Northeast Regional Cancer Institute: $50,000
- The Wright Center for Community Health: $50,000
Behavioral Health and Violence Prevention Grants (November 2022)
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania: $98,379
- City of Scranton: $100,000
- Integrative Counseling Services: $40,798
- Lackawanna College: $15,000
- Marywood University: $13,411
- NAMI PA Scranton Area Chapter: $40,000
- NEPA Youth Shelter: $60,000
- NEPA Pan African Coalition: $30,000
- Scranton Counseling Center: $12,912
- Telespond Senior Services: $25,000
- Treatment Court Advocacy Center of Lackawanna County: $10,000
- Valhalla Veterans Services: $75,000
- Valley In Motion: $25,000
- The Wright Center Medical Group: $45,000
Drug Overdose Prevention Grants (November 2022)
- Lackawanna County Treatment Court: $20,000
- Treatment Court Advocacy Center of Lackawanna County: $49,500
- The Wright Center for Community Health: $50,000
Nonprofit Recovery Grants (October 2022)
- $45,000 each: Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Friends of the Poor, Maternal and Family Health Services, Meals on Wheels of NEPA, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Outreach – Center for Community Resources and Scranton Primary Health Care Center
- $25,000 each: Catherine McAuley Center, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton, Center for Health and Human Services Research and Action, Child Hunger Outreach Partners, Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, Discovery MI Preschool, Greater Scranton YMCA, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Harrison House Personal Care Home, Here For A Reason, Jewish Community Center of Scranton, Keystone Mission, Linwood Nursing and Rehab, NativityMiguel School of Scranton, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, NEPA Pet Fund and Rescue, Scranton Counseling Center, The Wright Center for Community Health and Treatment Court Advocacy Center of Lackawanna County.
- $10,000 each: Boy Scouts of America Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Breathe & Prosper Corporation, Clear Brook Foundation, Everhart Museum, Goodwill Industries of Northeastern PA, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Lackawanna River Conservation Association, Marywood University, Ronald McDonald House of Scranton, Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, Scranton Public Library, Scranton Tomorrow, Serving Seniors, Skills in Scranton Business Education Partnership, St. Cats and Dogs of Scranton, St. Matthews United Evangelical Lutheran Church, Telespond Senior Day Services and the Arc of Northeastern PA.
- $5,000 each: Center for the Living City, Electric City Steel Drum Project and PAWSitively for the Animals
- $4,047.28: TCS Midtown Apartments
Additionally, Hometown Health Care of NEPA received $48,404 to support a vaccine clinic in Scranton. Funding was provided through the city's COVID-19 vaccination allocation.
An interactive spending summary is available at scrantonpa.gov/arpa/arpa-data/