The After-School Corporation (TASC) has announced grants totaling $11.5 million, including $8.5 million from the Open Society Foundations and the Wallace Foundation, to help expand its ExpandED Schools initiative. TASC also committed $3 million to the effort in anticipation that private investment will leverage a $30 million public-private national demonstration of expanded learning time over the next three years.
The initiative aims to reinvent public schools by forging partnerships between schools and community organizations focused on expanding students' learning time and options. The learning day in ExpandED Schools facilities is about three hours longer than in typical schools, giving students more time for quality instruction, adult mentoring, and the chance to explore learning opportunities. The ExpandED Schools model seeks to close opportunity and educational achievement gaps in schools in disadvantaged communities.
To that end, Wallace awarded a three-year, $5 million grant to help TASC create additional ExpandED Schools and evaluate their impact on student learning, while OSF committed $3.5 million. In addition, Rona and Randolph Nelson and the Charles Stewart Mott, New York Life, and Robert Sterling Clark foundations have provided support for the expansion.
"Under the ExpandEd model, schools will be able to partner with an experienced youth-serving organization to bring in new resources and staff members such as AmeriCorps volunteers," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Expanding learning time can accelerate student achievement, particularly in high-poverty schools where students don't always have as much outside support or resources."