Engage Every Student Recognition Program

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A National Recognition Program for Afterschool and Summer Learning

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The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides funding for implementing comprehensive, evidence-based programs to ensure resources respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on student populations. Using resources provided by the ARP, States, districts, and their partners have the opportunity to use out-of-school time (OST) to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on students, families, and their communities.

Out-of-school time programs, which occur before or after the regular school day or outside of the regular school year, can include a wide range of activities, including comprehensive afterschool or summer-learning and enrichment programs, vacation academies, work-based learning programs, youth development programs, and experiential or service-learning programs.

On July 14th, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education, along with the Afterschool Alliance, AASA – the School Superintendents Association, the National Comprehensive Center at Westat, the National League of Cities and the National Summer Learning Association, launched the Engage Every Student Initiative designed to ensure that every student who wants a spot in a high-quality out-of-school time program has one.

In the Fall of 2023, the U.S. Department of Education and the five partnering organizations designed the Engage Every Student Recognition Program, which aims to recognize (1) non-profit organizations working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) or (2) municipalities or local government entities working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) that engage K-12 students in high-quality afterschool or summer learning programming, with high-quality being defined as meeting students’ social, emotional, mental, and physical health, and academic needs and addressing the impact of COVID-19 on students’ opportunity to learn.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Engage Every Student Recognition Program, a non-profit organization working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) or municipality or local government working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) entity must:

  • Be an afterschool and/or summer learning program that has increased, from its total enrollment in SY22-23, the enrollment number of K-12 students during the 2023-2024 school year by 20%.
  • Serve a group of students that attend elementary, middle or high schools, which must include at least a portion of students that attend schools with 40% or more students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic school year.
  • Provide high-quality afterschool or summer learning programming with a physical location in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, or Tribal Nations schools.
  • Leverage American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER Funds and other state and local funds to expand access to afterschool and summer learning programs for students.
  • Employ evidence-based approaches, including but not limited to:
    • Target students needing additional support (including using information provided by diagnostic assessments);
    • Have certified teachers delivering the academic instruction and tutoring; and
    • Engage students in using experiential learning that could include project-based learning, enrichment, career pathways, and field trips.

Nomination Process

The Engage Every Student Recognition Program nomination process will include the following components:

  • The U.S. Department of Education and the Non-Federal Partner Organizations will hold an All Call for Nominations of entities that adhere to the aforementioned eligibility criteria that are engaging students in high-quality afterschool and/or summer learning programs.
  • The All Call for Nominations application will be open for nomination submission for a duration of at least one month.
  • Eligible entities can self-nominate or be nominated.
  • The U.S. Department of Education and the Non-Federal Partner Organizations will post communications regarding the All Call for Nominations in their newsletters and on their social media platforms, including the Department’s Engage Every Student Today bulletin.

Important Considerations for Completing the Engage Every Student Recognition Program Online Application

  • The entire application must be submitted through the online submission form at: https://forms.office.com/g/eyHm7vv6Ph.
  • Narrative responses to application questions must address the topic succinctly. No attachments to the online application can be submitted.
  • Online instructions must be followed when copying/pasting text from Word to the online submission form; formatting may be changed.

Public Burden Statement

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number and expiration date for this information collection is 1894-0019 and 03/31/2027 respectively. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 90 minutes per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.  The obligation to respond to this collection is voluntary.  If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate, suggestions for improving this individual collection, or if you have comments or concerns regarding the status of your individual form, application or survey, please contact Shital C. Shah at [email protected] directly.

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