Oakland County Revitalizes Youth Programs Affected by COVID With $4.8 Million Out of School Grant

Pontiac – Oakland County, in partnership with the United Way For Southeastern Michigan, has awarded a $4.8 million grant to 30 organizations with programs focusing on children and teenagers. The Out of School grant, which will serve more than 11,000 children, supports multipurpose activities such as clubs and afterschool care, specialty programs such as coding, music, and sports, and academics such as reading or math tutoring and summer learning programs. 

“Having healthy residents is one of Oakland County’s strategic goals and that includes behavioral health for our residents. The Out of School grant is part of an unprecedented $24 million investment to improve and expand mental health services to all residents in Oakland County,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. 

At the start of the pandemic, The National Education Association asserted that social emotional learning is not only vital to students’ academics but to relationship skills and self-awareness as well. 

“There is plenty of evidence that our students were especially impacted by the COVID pandemic, experiencing learning delays, and loss of social and emotional support networks. The Out of School grants are expected to serve an estimated 11,000 children, with many of the programs beginning in the coming weeks as school breaks for the summer,” Coulter said. 

Joining Coulter at the announcement at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) were Dr. Tarek M. Sobh, president of Lawrence Technological University (LTU); Lisa Kujawa, vice president for enrollment Management and outreach for LTU; and representatives from the YMCA, Holly School District, and Pontiac Parks and Recreation – all organizations conducting summer programming through the Out of School Time grant. 

LTU’s grant will fund 100 full scholarships to its summer science, technology, and design camps for students from eight different communities in Oakland County. Students who live in Hazel Park, Holly Township, Keego Harbor, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Walled Lake, Wixom, or Royal Oak Township can use the code “Oakland” at checkout for the full scholarship, a value of up to $950. The registration deadline is June 10. Click here for the full list of options.

“We look forward to seeing 100 students from these communities to experience college life, make new friends, and learn about the sciences and technologies that interest them the most,” LTU President Tarek M. Sobh said. “And we thank United Way for Southeastern Michigan for making these valuable and rewarding experiences possible for more youth.” 

Other recipients include the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit for drop-in programming, summer camps, youth sports, and Girls on the Run; Holly Area Schools for a summer camp for kindergarten students in five northern Oakland County communities; and the City of Pontiac for academic and social emotion learning supports after school. Also, the Ennis Center in Pontiac is offering art therapy classes and Accent Pontiac has a music program for 75 students. 

The Out of School grant is also estimated to provide opportunities to more than 5,700 children living in cities with households earning below the Federal Poverty Level or below the ALICE Threshold (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), including Pontiac, Hazel Park, and Southfield. 

“We are proud to continue supporting programs for students and families across Oakland County,” said Tonya Adair, chief people, equity, and engagement officer, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. ”This summer, organizations will use the grant dollars to provide much needed programs to address learning loss and provide critical socialization opportunities for young people. We are grateful for Executive Coulter’s leadership and the collaboration efforts to make sure every Oakland County student has quality experiences and the opportunity to succeed, recover, and thrive.” 

The Out of School grant is divided into four small grants. Below is a complete list of grants and their recipients. 

Community Level Grant ($250,001-$400,000) 

Program Expansion Grant ($100,001-$250,000) 

Operational Support Grant ($30,000-$100,000) 

Restarting Program Grant ($30,000-$100,000)