The state Education Department awarded more than $24 million in state-funded grants for extended school day and school violence prevention programs to 83 school districts and non-profit organizations across the state, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today.

“There is literally nothing more important than the safety of our children,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The Board and I are grateful to Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan and the Legislature for providing resources to prevent violence and to keep our students involved in safe and educational activities.”

“It’s a simple proposition – when students are safe and engaged in productive afterschool activities, they’re going to enjoy school more and do better,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The grants we’re awarding today will go a long way towards protecting and enriching our children.”

Eligible programs provide support to students through extended school day activities and/or school safety programs which promote violence prevention. Extended school day programs will increase student achievement, provide extracurricular enrichment activities, and contribute to school violence prevention. School violence prevention activities include comprehensive school-based intervention models that reduce violence and improve school safety as well as provide funding for safe corridors, diversity programs, collaboration with law enforcement agencies or community-based organizations.

Grants range from $80,000 to $350,000. School districts and not-for-profit organizations working in collaboration with public school districts were eligible to apply for grant funding. SED received more than 450 applications requesting $130 million in funding. Each application was evaluated and scored by peer reviewers, including experts in expanded learning opportunities; college and university faculty and administrators; professional program evaluators; community educators; community service providers; staff from foundations and charitable organizations, as well as SED staff.

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