WINGS Wins $2.5 Million Grant to Heighten Social & Emotional Learning

After YEARS of prepping and planning, working and waiting – the world is finally ready for us!

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) has awarded WINGS a 3-year, $2.5 million grant through the Social Innovation Fund to grow our revolutionary education program to serve hundreds more kids in some of the Nation’s toughest schools. WINGS is responsible for securing $750,000 in matching funds as a requirement for this grant.

In our 17th year of serving kids, our hearts are bursting with pride in seeing our vision of expansion become a reality! Picture 2,060 kids in up to 16 schools across 4 regions getting WINGS by 2016 – a growth of over 200%.

The road was long and hard, focused on accountability and discipline - it’s only fitting that one of our 30 learning objectives is delayed gratification!

Whittled down from 750 Letters of Intent across 50 states, WINGS was selected as one of three recipients, being the first major grant ever awarded by a national foundation to support social and emotional learning during after school time. Previous grantees include Harlem Children’s Zone, Citizen Schools, Youth Villages, and Nurse Family Partnerships, to name a few.

More than 30 years ago the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation shifted the way they invested in social services, starting a trend seen more and more today: concentrate resources on a few organizations proven to be effective, rather than sprinkling funds on several without proven efficacy. Simply, grow what works.

We’re wrapping-up Year 1 of our external evaluation conducted by the University of Virginia. This feat, along with previous evidence from Yale, the University of South Carolina, the University of Virginia, the College of Charleston, and the Citadel provides WINGS the track record EMCF capitalized on.

No matter what turns you on the most about WINGS – evaluation, metrics, outcomes, college students as Staff, or at-risk kids feeling connected to school and their peers – we can all agree on one thing: all kids deserve WINGS and finally the world is ready to make this happen.

So proud, so humbled, and so ready to keep working hard!

Click here for the Associated Press story that hit the wire!




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