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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $69,676 in its seventh round of COVID-19 Response Grants to nine organizations in Michigan. These grants help Michigan high schools, Local College Access Networks, community-based nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions support emergent postsecondary projects and programs in their communities. MCAN is also now partnering with other funders to co-sponsor these grants. 

The grants were announced by MCAN in early April 2020 to demonstrate MCAN’s responsiveness to and support of communities affected by the global health pandemic that continues to have a major impact in Michigan, predominantly in minority communities MCAN serves.  

Thus far, MCAN has awarded 55 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $290,016. 

One grant in this round was co-funded by the Jacob Family Foundation (see Utica grant recipient below). 

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded: 

Blue Water College Access Network (Marysville, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 
Blue Water CAN will be using its grant to hire a Summer Success Coach to increase college readiness, participation, and completion rates in St. Clair County. The coach will enact targeted outreach through a multifaceted approach of virtual meetings, phone calls, texts, Remind, Zoom, Google Voice, and individual meetings to continue providing advising conversations, building positive relationships, and connecting past students' high school graduation dates.  

Bronson Community Schools (Bronson, MI) 
Awarded $1,800 

Bronson Community Schools will be using its grant to fund Wi-Fi hotspots which will offer internet access to rising and graduating seniors. The goal is to help students maintain education, build 21st-century skills, and finish high school instruction with the best chance of being able to move forward into postsecondary educational opportunities. 

Brown City Junior/Senior High School (Brown City, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 

Brown City Junior/Senior High School is using its grant funding to launch “Sanilac County Summer SAT Tutoring Program,” which is a six-week SAT preparation workshop for 100 students. These students will be enrolled in a program with a blend of asynchronous and synchronous instruction through the use of Google Classroom instruction and Zoom small group and individual tutoring sessions. 

Edgewood Village Network Center (East Lansing, MI) 
Awarded $9,670 

Edgewood Village Network Center will be using its grant to support 150 students. From June through August, the Center will be offering fall college enrollment support, a peer college ambassador program, SAT test preparation, and college application preparation. 

Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 

(This is the second grant given to FSU.) 
Ferris State University will be using its grant to support “Ferris MathFoward,” a program that provides free, college credit-bearing math classes over the summer to assist students in reducing the math knowledge gap. The goal is to increase SAT math test scores, offer tutoring, and provide assistance on college admissions, financial aid, and scholarships. 

Meridian Public Schools (Sanford, MI) 
Awarded $7,716.98 

Meridian Public Schools will be using its grant to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots and monthly data packages. This will enable Meridian Public Schools to extend internet and data services to students without high speed internet access. In this manner, all Meridian Early College High School students would be able to participate in online learning activities; reducing the reliance on printed learning packets and increasing the ability to complete high school and Delta College courses. 

Pickford High School (Pickford, MI) 
Awarded $1,400 

Pickford High School used its grant award to create care packages for 2020 graduating seniors as part of Decision Day activities. 

SONS Outreach (Port Huron, MI) 
Awarded $9,122 
SONS Outreach will be using its grant funding for the, “Talented TENTH Extension Program.” SONS plans to provide 80 students with virtual learning opportunities and soft-skill development for college and career readiness. It plans to equip and engage parents/guardians in their teens’ learning process and connect every student with a relevant adult mentor. Technology and internet shortages pertaining to online learning and communication will also be addressed. 

Utica Community Schools (Sterling Heights, MI) 
Awarded $9,968 
$4,984 from MCAN 
$4,984 from the Jacob Family Foundation 

Utica Community Schools will be using its grant to launch an initiative called “The College Application Puzzle” from June to October 2020. This will include the offering of six virtual workshops and virtual counselor office hours covering topics such as the college search process, college admission applications, FAFSA and college scholarships. 

“Since April, MCAN has taken on the responsibility of funding impactful postsecondary attainment initiatives across the state of Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “The global health pandemic has disproportionately affected populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education including low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. I’m proud that we have the capacity to rapidly mobilize resources and act as a support to schools and organizations. I also want to acknowledge all of the funding partners who have joined us in co-funding some of these grants." 

In the coming weeks, MCAN will be announcing additional grant awards. Thus far, more than 250 grant applications have been started or submitted to MCAN. Applications for these grants are being accepted until July 31, 2020. More information is online.