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Washington State Awarded Grant to Help Teen Parents and Families

OLYMPIA — Tuesday, September 24, 2013 — Connecting pregnant and parent teens to available education services is crucial for them to succeed. A large-scale federal grant recently received by Washington state will help.

The $6 million grant, known as the Expectant and Parenting Teens, Women, Fathers and Their Families project, will help teens primarily in four counties with high teen pregnancy and birth rates: Yakima, Franklin, Grant and Adams. The project will run from 2013 to 2017.

As part of the grant, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will receive $255,908 a year for four years for its Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills program. GRADS helps teens prepare for graduation, as well as increase positive parenting skills, academic achievement and economic independence. GRADS programs include on-site or nearby child care.

“Teen parents that have access to onsite childcare are more likely to come to school and graduate,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “This grant will enhance GRADS programs across the state and make it possible for our teens to have access to high quality childcare.”

The money will be spent in a variety of ways, including small grants for GRADS child-care centers. In addition, OSPI will hire a GRADS program specialist. The specialist will focus on:

  • Improving GRADS child-care centers by participating in a rating system of each center by the Department of Early Learning;
  • Ensuring access to quality, sustainable and culturally appropriate early learning services;
  • Facilitating new GRADS programs statewide; and
  • Increasing the knowledge, access, and utilization of culturally and linguistically appropriate education, health, and social service resources.

The specialist also will help facilitate partnerships addressing policy and systems barriers related to students in the GRADS program. Through the partnerships, services dedicated to promoting child and family social, emotional, and physical health should continue after the grant ends.

For more Information about the GRADS Program, please contact Heidi Schultz at 360-725-0417or heidi.schultz@k12.wa.us.

 

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

 

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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