Rhode Island’s community service grants are currently under intense scrutiny. We want parents, teachers and the greater community to know that a community service grant provides the core funding for our ten Child Opportunity Zones operating in public schools throughout the state. The money is administered through the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), which requires extensive biannual reporting from each site. The community service grant provides a foundation for each of our sites to leverage additional funds for direct programs and services. COZs leverage an average of ten times these core funds with federal and state grants, as well as with support from private, corporate and community foundations. Rhode Island’s Child Opportunity Zones focus on the following core areas: early childhood programs that ensure kindergarteners enter school ready to learn; before, after school and summer enrichment programs; health and mental health wellness; parent and family engagement; and adult education and workforce training. We are committed to the whole child approach to education, which recognizes that academic success is closely intertwined with the social and emotional wellbeing of each student and family. When our children thrive and succeed, we will move forward as a state. Please support the continued existence of Rhode Island’s Child Opportunity Zones.
-Carolyn Birbiglia, Director, Rhode Island Partnership for Community Schools