The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Friday announced the recipients of the Expanding What Works grant, a new opportunity designed to increase access to high-quality summer programming for over 3,000 Hoosier students. The grant encourages regional collaboration between community organizations, local nonprofits, municipal partners and/or local school corporations to expand the successful Indy Summer Learning Labs (ISLL) initiative across the state, specifically targeting students with the greatest academic need.

“We have put a lot of focus on making sure the financial investments we are making show a return on investment for our students,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “This is a prime example of seeing the impactful results and leveraging what we have learned to scale those opportunities statewide so that more students have access. Maximizing student learning requires an all-hands on deck approach, and what an excellent example the communities of South Bend, Gary, Salem and Wabash are leading to positively impact our students.”

The 2024 Expanding What Works grant recipients include:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County in South Bend ($3,750,000)
  • Urban League of Northwest Indiana in Gary ($1,125,000)
  • Creating Avenues for Student Transformation (CAST) in Salem ($115,073)
  • Wabash County YMCA in Wabash ($396,000)

Grantees will receive support from Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, The Mind Trust, and will partner with the Lavinia Group, which will provide five weeks of reading and math lessons for incoming first through ninth grade students, teacher planning resources, pre- and post-assessments and virtual onboarding training, as well as in-person coaching for facilitators. The award amounts represent approximately $1,500 per student served for the five-week summer program.

“The Mind Trust is thrilled to partner with the Indiana Department of Education, Lavinia Group and regional partners to give more Hoosier students access to high-quality summer programming,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are incredibly proud of the impact our team and United Way of Central Indiana has had in Marion County through Indy Summer Learning Labs and look forward to supporting similar partnerships in other areas of our state. We are grateful for the leadership of Secretary Jenner and her team to prioritize proven strategies that make an impact on student learning recovery.”

The Expanding What Works grant will continue the efforts of ISLL, which saw significant academic gains in math and reading at the end of the five-week program. In 2023, participating students saw a 23 percentage point increase in reading scores and a 22 percentage point increase in math scores, as measured by pre- and post-assessment data. Funding for Expanding What Works is allocated through the state’s biennial budget.

To learn more about the Expanding What Works grant, click here.