Imagine a school where children are at the center of their education experience, with the support of the entire community behind them. This vision of student-centered learning drives the work of three national nonprofit organizations aligning their networks to achieve better outcomes for young people.

Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools and StriveTogether are launching the Students at the Center Challenge, with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Ford Foundation. The initiative will award funding to communities that demonstrate the potential to move toward a student-centered learning system. This approach emphasizes the needs and interests of students over institutions, combining quality educational opportunities with health and wellness services, mentoring, college readiness activities and work-based learning experiences.

Through the Challenge, approximately 10 communities will be awarded planning grants of up to $150,000 each. These communities must commit to changing how they align and expand their work to help students, particularly children of color and low-income students.  

Any community where there is at least one affiliate or member of the Collaborating Partner's networks is eligible to submit a letter of intent for consideration in the Challenge. Only one proposal will be accepted from each community. Where there are multiple affiliates or members of a Collaborating Partner's network, these groups will need to collaborate on the LOI and proposal. See the complete Collaborative Partner Network list here. 

Please fill out the Letter of Intent (LOI) here for the Students at the Center Challenge. Only one LOI is allowed per community. A link to register for the Students at the Center Convening in Houston, TX will be sent to the primary applicant after submitting the LOI. The primary applicant is responsible for sharing this information with all community partners. Please contact Dana Mong, Project Coordinator, at mongd@cisconsultant.org for any questions.

Submit your Letter of Intent here!


Teacher with Students

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