June 11 it was announced that Muncie Community Schools (MCS) received $234,265 in funding from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to expand students’ exposure to high-demand career opportunities. MCS is one of 97 schools and organizations in the state to receive this funding, which is part of Indiana's $57 million allotment of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds. A full list of recipients can be found here.
“Throughout students’ 13 years in K-12, we must do everything possible to ensure students are empowered to develop the knowledge and skills needed to pursue their purpose, whether that leads to employment, enrollment or enlistment leading to service,” Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner said. “In order to do this, in elementary and middle school we must make sure students can read, are immersed in STEM and are provided opportunities to explore and engage in a variety of careers."
The state’s ESSER III plan was originally set to distribute $25 million but was increased to $57 million due to an overwhelming response in strong applicants across Indiana.
The Explore, Engage and Experience (3E) grant is intended to help provide career coaching for students, a customized curriculum and other programs and events that are set to be implemented over the next two years. Additionally, MCS is partnering with Project Leadership and Ivy Tech to execute an initiative that could have measurable outcomes for students, including increased access, enrollment and completion of a Next Level Program of Study, the Indiana College Core or a Graduation Pathway high-value credential.
“This is a wonderful way to build on the programs we already have at Central and the Muncie Area Career Center,” MCS CEO and Director of Public Education Dr. Lee Ann Kwiatkowski said. “We’re happy to be working with Project Leadership and Ivy Tech in order to help our students be as prepared as possible for success after high school.”