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$150,000 College Spark Grant Supports Rural Education Initiative


March 11, 2021

SPOKANE—School districts that will benefit from the recent $150,000 grant received by Innovia Foundation aimed at strengthening school-community partnerships and increasing post-secondary success for students are Dayton, St. John-Endicott, Lind-Ritzville, Riverside and Inchelium.

This grant, from the College Spark Outcomes Acceleration fund launches a two-year pilot project as part of Innovia Foundation’s Say Yes to Education initiative. The first phase of the project will include community forums and surveys to gather input and will culminate with a strategic action plan for each community with solutions that advance college and career readiness for students.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to achieve educational success. Together, as a community, we should harness the power and passion to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared and supported to pursue their goals and dreams,” said Shelly O’Quinn, CEO of Innovia Foundation. “Success for all our children starts with the community’s commitment so that every child has the necessary tools to fully develop their gifts and talents to achieve their college and career objectives.”

Community-driven partnerships are necessary to engage a range of stakeholders, focus on eliminating student disparities, and create a culture of continuous improvement and education attainment.

The funding will support a community wide survey developed by the Center for Educational Effectiveness to provide leaders with locally relevant information related to educational improvement strategies. Results of the survey will be shared in a community education data walk to spark community-school conversations and help establish a system of supports, so every student has an opportunity to participate in a postsecondary experience.

This research project will evaluate the role of community leaders in promoting post-secondary enrollment and educational success for all rural students – a factor often overlooked in the education research literature.

This grant helps support Innovia’s Say Yes to Students ongoing initiative that aims to provide a scholarship to every student along with a wide range of community supports to help students and families succeed.


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