Irvine’s Board of Directors approved more than $20 million in grants at its quarterly meeting last week. Of the 36 grants approved, 22 in the Arts, nine in California Democracy, two in Youth, and one in Special Initiatives. In addition, two Special Opportunities grants were approved. Here are a few grants that we’re particularly excited about:
Exploring Engagement Fund—The grants include the first round under our Exploring Engagement Fund which demonstrates Irvine’s new Arts program strategy in action. The goal of the new strategy is to promote engagement in the arts for all Californians—the kind that embraces and advances the diverse ways that we experience the arts and that strengthens our ability to thrive together in a dynamic and complex social environment. Grants total more than $2 million to 20 arts organizations who are piloting new ideas to engage Californians in the arts.
Families in Schools—A $5.15 million grant was made to continue our Families in Education Initiative, which seeks to engage parents in educational decision making and advance new educational policies and practices in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire. The initiative supports 11 community organizations in those regions and is administered by Los Angeles-based Families in Schools, which provides advice and technical assistance and strategizes with Irvine about how to maximize the initiative’s impact. This grant is part of the California Democracy program, which seeks to advance effective public policy decision making that is reflective of and responsive to all Californians.
ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career— Our Youth program promotes Linked Learning as a new approach to high school education that combines strong academics with real-world experience in a wide range of fields. This $5.725 million grant includes continued funding and substantial support to ConnectEd to serve as the intermediary organization managing the California Linked Learning District Initiative and to provide technical assistance to all nine districts for one additional year. This grant is part of the program’s Linked Learning Practice priority. Grants made as part of Irvine’s Youth program seek to increase the number of low income youth in California who complete high school on time and attain a postsecondary credential by the age of 25.