Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

After-School Program Grants For Under-Served Youth

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 @ 16:02 PM

afterschoolWhile the American education system has put much money and effort toward improving in-class education in public schools, after-school programs are often harder to justify in already-stretched school budgets. This statement is especially true in high-poverty, high-crime areas where under-served students are likely to drop out of school or engage in risky behaviors.

However, according to the Harvard Family Research Project, after-school programs are essential for under-served students. Those students in their study who were in a safe, structured after-school program environment during the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each school day showed reduced rates of juvenile crime, teen sex, teen pregnancy, and drug use (American Institutes for Research). In addition to deterring risky behavior, after-school programs also provide many benefits for under-served students, including academic gains and improved physical health (

Given the need for quality after-school programming for at-risk students, many grant opportunities haven arisen for schools, non-profits, and other organizations that offer extracurricular educational programs to under-served youth. Check out a few such grant programs below.


The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s motto is that “preparing a child for the future doesn’t end when the school bell rings.” Accordingly, they fund after-school programs that take place both during the school year and in the summertime, primarily programs that benefit underprivileged and low-income kids and families. Funding is typically reserved for U.S. schools, non-profits, and other educational organizations.  Please note that award amounts vary, and funding for unsolicited proposals is limited. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are accepted online throughout the year.

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation

This foundation’s Academic Enrichment Grants fund both in-school and after-school initiatives. Schools and non-profits that educate children in grades pre-K to 12 are eligible to apply. Proposed programs must show improved student learning and must serve students from low-income households. Grantseeking institutions also must already have the facilities, staff, and educational expertise in place to execute the proposed program. Grant awards are for up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of $30,000 over three years. Up to 350 submissions are accepted between January 15th to April 15th each year, so it is important to apply as early as possible after January 15th for this grant opportunity.

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program  

This grant program is coordinated through the U.S. Department of Education and administered on a state-by-state basis. As the program name suggests, this grant supports plans to build community learning centers for after-school programs. Like the above-mentioned grant opportunities, this grant prioritizes after-school programs that serve academically-struggling students and schools in high-poverty areas. This grant program also particularly solicits standards-based afterschool educational initiatives.
State Education Agencies (SEAs) are eligible to apply in their state; local education entities and non-profit agencies may not apply directly for this opportunity but can apply to their states for subgrants. Please see the State Contact List for the website, contact information, request for proposals, and deadline information in your state.

Is your school or non-profit looking for long-term grant-writing support for your educational initiatives?  Contact us today for a free consultation and tips on getting grant-ready.

Photo Credits: The Parents Union


American Institutes for Research:

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