The Strategic Partnership Grant Program (SPG) provides funding for nonprofit organizations that serve Asheville residents to support school-aged children from low- to moderate-income households in and outside of the classroom. SPG was relaunched in June 2022 after a three-year pause in funding. It serves as a pilot program providing much needed financial resources to the community while making long-term improvements to the program.
The application period for the 2023-2024 fiscal year closed on March 31, 2023. Of the 23 applications submitted, 6 proposals were recommended for funding by the Evaluation Committee, composed of City and County staff, local educators and nonprofit leaders. Their recommendations were presented to the Equity and Engagement Committee (EEC) for full City Council consideration on April 13. The EEC unanimously approved (3-0) the Evaluation Committee’s recommendations and a staff report outlining the funding recommendations were presented to the City Council at their April 25 meeting.
Council voted unanimously to approve the recommended allocations of the SPG funding awards, as shown below:
|All Aboard! Community Literacy Training||Read to Succeed of Asheville/Buncombe||
|To & Through College Access and Completion Initiative||OpenDoors Asheville||
|HOPE 4 the Future Summer Program||Umoja Health, Wellness, & Justice Collective||
|Providing the I/DD Community with Supports and Resources||The Arc of Buncombe County||
|Project Lighten Up Summer Learning Academy||Getting Back to the Basics||
|Black Wall Street Jr – Making Education Actionable in Asheville||Black Wall Street AVL||
|Total Grant Award Recommendation||$356,209|
Rachel Taylor, Economic Development Specialist with the City of Asheville, presented the funding recommendations to Council at the April 25 meeting. “The SPG program has come a long way this year, and it’s exciting to envision the impact that these projects will have in our community. Congratulations to the grant awardees who are working so hard to help close the achievement gap for kids in Asheville.”
A total of $577,500 will be available to support the Strategic Partnership Program in Fiscal Year
(FY) 2023-24, including $335,500 unused from previous fiscal years and a $242,000 allocation
currently planned in the FY 2023-24 budget. With this City Council authorization to fund the full $356,209, the SPG program will have a remaining balance of $221,291 that will be used for future grants.
“This year’s grantees predict that they will serve more than 700 local youth with literacy, summer programs, college access and more,” said Taylor. “By investing in these programs, we are supporting students by removing barriers to their success.”