Helena, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau announced the availability of $190,000 in grants from the Graduation Matters Challenge Fund to support new and existing Graduation Matters initiatives. This year, AT&T has added $20,000 to the Challenge Fund with a portion focused on raising American Indian graduation rates, and the Steele Reese Foundation has invested $20,000 to support rural community efforts. Each grantee will be awarded up to $10,000 to replicate successful dropout prevention strategies. Successful Challenge Fund grantees will be announced in March.
“Montana businesses and communities continue to respond to the call to lower the dropout rate and improve Montana’s economic future,” said Superintendent Juneau. “Every student we are able to keep from dropping out of school or who is inspired to continue their education after high school benefits not only that individual, but the entire state.”
In 2012, the Office of Public Instruction was awarded $450,000 over three years from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support a statewide network of locally-designed, community-driven efforts to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school prepared for college and careers in the Montana workforce.
Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation stated, “Montana is rich with communities that care about the well-being of all youth. Graduation Matters Montana is seeing success because it is leveraging that local community commitment to youth and bringing research, passion and resources to the effort to graduate more students college- and career-ready. This approach is at the core of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s mission, and we are proud to be able to continue to support this critically important initiative.”
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See how the Montana graduation rates have gone up here.