Jennings School District was awarded a $1,760,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers to provide the students of Jennings School District with after school programming to enable them to improve understanding of academic performance in mathematics, language arts and science, and to provide enrichment opportunities for students during after school hours.  In addition, the grant will support families of JSD students by supplying opportunities to participate in school activities, parent education, and family oriented activities for students and family members.

Developing Potential, Inc. (DPI) recently received a grant for $50,000 from the Health Forward Foundation, Applicant Defined Grant to support the Increase Access to Services program. These funds will support the program’s full-time registered nurse. The nurse oversees DPI’s medical services. She helps eliminate barriers to quality health care for the people we serve by providing direct support through comprehensive health assessments, medication administrations, choking risk assessments, GI tube feedings, and many other tasks. She also educates program participants and staff on healthy lifestyle topics, and trains staff in medical issues like medication side effects, fall awareness and prevention, procedures for addressing seizures, and many more.

Department of Education – Office of Postsecondary Education Attention institutions of higher education! The Department of Education – Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) is now accepting proposals for its 2021 Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program. The goal of CCAMPIS is to support low-income parents in their postsecondary education pursuits through the provision of campus-based child care services. Proposals for this program are due June 1, 2021.

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the Neighborhood Assistance Program to support the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and the Preschool/Kindergarten Program. The EIP provides regularly scheduled home-based instruction, therapies, and center-based evaluations of the infant and toddler’s developmental progress, beginning as soon as the child is diagnosed through the age of three. The program offers a comprehensive, individualized educational and therapy program for infants and toddlers who have significant visual impairments that impact learning and development. Early intervention teachers and therapists work with parents in regularly scheduled home visits to provide strategies and activities that can be practiced daily and generalized to the world beyond. Examples of services include Orientation and Mobility, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and specialized instruction from Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI).

As we look ahead to International Grant Professionals Day, I cannot help but wonder – what does it really mean to be a grant professional? When I was a kid, I used to go to the beauty parlor (am I dating myself yet?). The beautician (yep, I definitely just dated myself now) had a sign hanging by her chair that said something like - “I am a hairdresser, a therapist, a coach, a cheerleader, and a magician.” Today, I wish I had this sign to hang in my office. As a grant professional, on any given day, I have conducted a therapy session with the development director who is in a sheer state of panic trying to juggle numerous grant deadlines; coached a CEO through what seemed like a never-ending conversation of should we apply or should we not; and magically transformed some bulleted notes into a program design. Whew…and that was all before noon!

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Does your organization provide direct services to individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD)? SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is now accepting applications for its 2021 Medication-Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) grant program. The MAT-PDOA program aims to expand and/or enhance access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for persons with OUD. The funder is focused on two primary outcomes: 1) an increase in the number of individuals with OUD receiving MAT and 2) a decrease in illicit opioid drug use and prescription opioid misuse at six-month follow-up. Proposals for this program are due April 27, 2021.

Powell Gardens was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from American Century Investments to establish Powell Gardens as a regional learning hub for agricultural producers, private landowners, horticulturalists, hobbyists, and the general citizenry. Funding from American Century will enable Powell Gardens to elevate the quality of adult and youth educational offerings and support three festivals, each featuring at least two workshops, one youth makers’ day, and one community activity, over the one-year grant cycle.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been so relieved to have spring arrive! The sun is shining more, the temperature is warming, and hope is in the air! Now that we're no longer locked in by the winder, it’s time to UNLOCK our potential as grant professionals. As the days get longer and we all feel a little more optimistic, I would encourage you to use the energy that comes with spring to rejuvenate yourself personally so you can develop your best professional self! It’s important to find a balance between work and life because if you’re not feeding your soul outside of work, you’re not giving your all as a grant professional.

National Endowment for the Arts Is your organization looking for project-based funding to support activities that further the arts? The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently opened applications for its Challenge America program. This program supports small organizations working to reach underserved populations through the arts across a variety of disciplines (dance, folk and traditional, media arts, music, visual arts, etc.), arts programming, education, marketing and promotional activities, and organizational planning.