The Promise Neighborhoods program began in fiscal year 2010 and its vision is to improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth living in distressed neighborhoods by providing those children and youth with a comprehensive continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions with strong schools at the center. This is achieved by increasing the capacity of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education already working for children and youth within the community. This holistic approach will also develop greater engagement and educational programs for parents, health and nutrition programs, and early learning networks as additional functions of the service continuum.
Planning grants go towards capacity-building for organizations to develop a plan to create a continuum of services for neighborhoods, including developing a needs assessment, establishing partnerships, and engaging the community in the plan. Implementation grants will be used to build administrative capacity for organizations in the continuum of services for greater data collection, collaboration, and service provision. The majority of resources used to support services and programs along the continuum will be financed through public and private community resources.
Nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes that meet the additional requirements for eligibility for this program can apply for this funding.
Children and youth living in the target neighborhood will be the principal beneficiaries of this program, as the bulk of resources will be centered on developing a comprehensive approach for addressing their educational and developmental needs. Secondary beneficiaries will be the families of these children and youth and the community, who will receive benefits from greater access to community resources and educational programs as well.
The Department of Education will award funds competitively to eligible applicants. While all eligible entities will be able to apply for implementation grants, eligible entities that have effectively carried out the planning activities described in the program’s Notice Inviting Applications, whether independently or with a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant, are likely to be well positioned with the plan, commitments, data, and demonstrated organizational leadership and capacity necessary to develop a quality application for an implementation grant.