LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $70,513 in its fifth round of  COVID-19 Response Grants to 14 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 partnering with other funders to co-sponsor certain grants. 

Thus far, MCAN has awarded 41 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $193,753.

The grants were announced by MCAN in 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. 

One grant was co-funded by the Hillsdale County Community Foundation. Another grant was co-funded by the  Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Both are noted below. 

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded: 

Alcona Community Schools (Lincoln, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 
Alcona Community Schools is launching the COVID-19 Continuing Education and Community Support Initiative. With this funding, it will increase the capacity of Chrome Book lending for continuing education, purchase and installation of Wi-Fi routers, and subscription to Google Voice Services. 

Allen Park High School (Allen Park, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Allen Park High School is using its funding to offer a virtual Decision Day for graduating seniors. In addition, it will be offering mini-grants for students to attend summer school classes and/or a SAT preparation course. 

Alpena Community College (Alpena, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 

Alpena Community College will be using its grant to launch the Pandemic Response Summer Advising Initiative. The focus of the initiative is to find placement testing opportunities for new students, one-on-one advising, and guidance for the college course registration process. 

Battle Creek College Access Network (Battle Creek, MI) 
Awarded $3,868.60 
The Battle Creek College Access Network is using its grant funds to support the 2020 Legacy Scholars Summer Orientation. The program would offer three separate orientation programs to reach incoming students and aim to address the following key college-going components: application requirements, financial literacy, as well as success tips for students navigating new processes. 

Beecher Community School District (Flint, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 
Co-Funded Community Foundation of Greater Flint ($1,250 funded) 
Beecher Community School District will be using its grant to fund “Beecher High School SAT Support.” This initiative will take place from late August to late September and will include a partnering organization called Pedagogical Solutions. Students will receive structured supportive lessons based upon the SAT BlackBook that reviews skills needed to be successful on the SAT. 

Bullock Creek School District (Midland, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Bullock Creek School District is planning to use funding to initiate a “Freezing Summer Melt Program.” They plan to provide mentors to seniors enrolling in college in Fall 2020 to ensure they maintain their postsecondary plans. 

Concord High School (Concord, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Concord High School used its grant funds to conduct an alternative commemoration of Decision Day 2020 for graduating seniors. The high school provided every senior a yard sign, personal banner and t-shirt. They also conducted a virtual senior award night. 

Godfrey Lee Public Schools (Wyoming, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Lee High School will use its grant funding to purchase Chromebooks for students to complete an online SAT Preparation program. 

Hazel Park School District (Hazel Park, MI) 
Awarded $648 

Hazel Park School District is using its grant to purchase supplies to be used as incentives for students who complete postsecondary planning tasks. Their initiative is called “Celebrating Vikings Virtually: Supplying Essentials to Continue the Voyage.” 

Hazel Park Promise Zone (Hazel Park, MI) 
Awarded $9,000 

Hazel Park Promise Zone is using its funds to provide math tutoring for the class of 2020 as they make the transition into college. Part of the funding will be used to conduct one-on-one check-ins between students and the Promise Zone’s postsecondary coach. 

Hillsdale High School (Hillsdale, MI) 
Awarded $1,928.48 
Co-Funded by the Hillsdale County Community Foundation ($1,000 funded) 

Hillsdale High School used grant funding to implement a Virtual Decision Week 2020 for graduating seniors. 

Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (Detroit, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 

The Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MHC) is using its grant to support two initiatives that transitioned to an online approach: Virtual Decision Campaign and a Virtual Send-Off. The Virtual Decision Campaign recognized the Class of 2020 graduates and their postsecondary plans using a two-generational approach with families. In August, MHC will conduct a Virtual College Send-Off to celebrate students, connect them to a mentor and with peers attending the same college. 

Michigan Power Futbol Academy (Grand Rapids, MI) 
Awarded $4,000 

Michigan Power Futbol Academy will use its grant funding to offer 40 high school students a 20-hour workshop called “Need to Know College Success Workshop.” This program addresses issues students need to learn by engaging in problem solving, self-evaluation and goal setting. The workshop covers key success skills to help students understand themselves as learners, clarify academic culture and expectations, improve soft skills needed for success, and work on academic skills. Part of the grant will support transportation needs for the participating students. Michigan Power Futbol Academy provides soccer training, educational benefits, leadership development in character and sportsmanship within the Greater Grand Rapids community. 

Northwest High School (Jackson, MI) 
Awarded $2,569 

Northwest High School used its grant to offer a Virtual/Remote Decision Day for their graduating seniors.

“MCAN remains focused on increasing postsecondary attainment in Michigan despite the global pandemic,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “This crisis is disproportionately affecting low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color-- populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education. It is very clear that there is an immediate need across the state, and I’m proud that we have restructured and mobilized our resources and staffing for a rapid response through these grants and other strategies." 

In the coming weeks, MCAN will be announcing additional grant awards. Thus far, more than 150 grant applications have been received by MCAN. Applications for these grants are being accepted until July 31, 2020. More information is online.