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MCAN awards more than $82,000 in COVID-19 Response Grant funding

Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 08, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $33,835 in its third round of COVID-19 Response Grants to eight 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 also now partnering with other funders to co-sponsor these grants.

The grants were announced by MCAN in early 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. Thus far, MCAN has awarded 20 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $82,331.

One grant to Sacred Heart Academy was co-sponsored by the Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation. Please see the next page for programs and organizations that received COVID-19 Response Grants.

■ Buchanan High School (Buchanan, MI) Awarded $2,400 Buchanan High School used their grant to conduct a “community celebration” version of Decision Day for the 2020 high school graduates.

■ Capital Area College Access Network (Lansing, MI) Awarded $10,000 CapCAN will be using their grant to engage college advisers and youth librarians in conducting ongoing, virtual and in-person advising sessions with rising and graduated seniors to support their postsecondary planning and access.

■ Eastside Community Network (Detroit, MI) Awarded $10,000 Eastside Community Network is partnering with Southeastern High School to offer a College Access Program. This program will provide individualized support for each step of the college enrollment process.

■ Ecorse High School (Ecorse, MI) Awarded $2,250 Ecorse High School will be using their grant to offer a six-week SAT preparation program for rising seniors. The grant will fund test prep materials such as workbooks and practice tests.

■ Engadine High School (Engadine, MI) Awarded $2,500 Engadine High School’s grant funding will be used to provide Wi-Fi hotspots to students in grades 9-12 through a program called, “All Students Connected.” The high school is partnering with the township to implement this technology.

■ Morley Stanwood High School (Morley, MI) Awarded $2,500 Morley Stanwood High School will be using their funding to launch an SAT Preparation Program for the students in the Class of 2021. The school is hoping to increase student test scores in reading and math.

■ Sacred Heart Academy (Mt. Pleasant, MI) Awarded $500 $250 from MCAN $250 from Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation Sacred Heart Academy used their grant to host a Virtual Decision Day for the graduating class of 2020, which included a video showcasing the graduates and their postsecondary plans.

■ Springport High School (Springport, MI) Awarded $1435.40 Springport High School used their grant to host a Virtual Decision Day for the graduating class of 2020, which included a video showcasing the graduates and their postsecondary plans.

■ Trillium Academy (Taylor, MI) Awarded $2,500 Trillium Academy is using their funding to address two college attainment initiatives. They hosted a Virtual Decision Day for their seniors using Zoom technology. Juniors will receive incentives for engaging academically through Khan Academy throughout the summer in preparation for the SAT in the fall.

“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 100 grant applications have been received by MCAN. Applications for these grants are being accepted until July 31, 2020. More information is online.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN) As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN works to improve the futures of Michigan’s students and communities by making college accessible to all. MCAN’s work centers on one main goal: To increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. MCAN engages partners statewide who are committed to systemslevel change and the reduction of barriers to increase college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among lowincome students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. MCAN has helped Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate increase for the 10th consecutive year. For more information, visit

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