Lilly Endowments gives $26M to help school counseling efforts

Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved $26.4 million in grants to 52 public school corporations and five charter schools in Indiana to support and strengthen counseling programs.

The grants are part of the endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students, which it announced in September 2016.

Lilly said 30 of Indiana’s 92 counties will benefit from the grants, which range from $68,312 to $2.87 million each.

Schools in Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks and Shelby counties were among the recipients.

The endowment issued a request for proposal last September, giving schools an opportunity to apply for funding to learn about the best practices for comprehensive counseling programs, evaluate existing programs and develop and implement new plans to improve counseling efforts.

In January, the endowment made planning grants to 284 school corporations and charter schools to help them with the effort. In May, it received 254 responses seeking $90 million.

“The response from school corporations and charter schools far exceeded the endowment’s expectations,” said Sara Cobb, the endowment’s vice president for education, said in written comments. “We believe that this response demonstrates a growing awareness that enhanced and expanded counseling programs are urgently needed to address the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of Indiana’s K-12 students.”

Among local school corporations or schools receiving grants:
— Western Boone County Community School Corp. (in collaboration with Montgomery County), $163,900.
— Zionsville Community Schools, $640,707.
— Hamilton Southeastern Schools, $2.1 million.
— Avon Community School Corp., $792,005.
— Indianapolis Public Schools, $2.87 million.
— KIPP Indianapolis (charter), $100,000.
— Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, $1.53 million.
— Metropolitan School District of Pike Township, $1.11 million
— Southwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County, $84,839.

Lilly said it making a second competitive round of grants available for school corporations and schools that submit new or revised proposals by March 15. Up to $10 million in grants will be offered in the second round.

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