The American Rescue Plan provides an extraordinary investment in education that includes $500 billion that can be used, in part, to support young people with interest-driven learning during the hours they are out of school. This investment begins with funds available to states and districts this summer aimed toward engaging and re-engaging young people in learning and supporting families. The federal government is urging states and districts to work with partners in the community to create and offer these learning experiences, and writing project sites are ideal partners in this regard.
However, just because funding can be spent on interest-driven and enriching afterschool and summer programs, including those that you may design and offer through your site, that does not mean it will. Writing Project sites will need to reach out to local education leaders—content area supervisors, school boards, superintendents, and principals—to share what you can offer students to support learning recovery and present yourselves as potential partners.
We urge writing projects to reach out quickly to local schools and districts as their timeline for applying for these funds is short. Below are resources to support you in this effort:
- See the funds available in your state: FY2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER Fund State Allocation Table
- See the funds available in your school district: American Rescue Plan ESSER Funding by School District
- Read a U.S. Department of Education Fact Sheet: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – Fact Sheet
- Network Presentation: Critical information to consider when developing plans for how funds from the American Rescue Plan can be used to support the design and implementation of summer learning and enrichment programs.
- Talking Points to help you prepare for meetings and/or use in follow-up emails. These include considerations such as sharing a personal story, preparing an ask, and being able to explain how many students you can serve and how programs will operate.
- Template Letter Writing Project sites can send local education leaders to explain how afterschool and summer programs help address learning loss and support students with academic, social and emotional resources.
- Remixable Young Writers “Write Out” Summer Camp: Inspired by Write Out 2020 and created by Bethany Silva (@oneissilva), PhilWP TC and current director of the Community Literacy Center at UNH, this camp design is available to be copied and remixed to support your own local purpose and context. This version, organized around the question “How does place inspire you?,” is designed for upper elementary/middle grade students but could be adjusted to support a range of younger writers.