The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) announced on Tuesday that it has awarded a total of $73,000 in education enrichment grants to educators to enhance learning opportunities for U.S. Virgin Islands students. The nonprofit said that in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, education in the territory has been disrupted, as schools were damaged/destroyed and countless students and faculty were displaced. Recognizing great need across educational settings, the enrichment grant opportunity was made available to local schools serving grades Pre-K through 12th.
This is the largest single cycle of teacher grants made by CFVI to date, and will enable students and local schools to take one step closer to recovery. Funding for these offerings was made possible by a generous grant from Fundación Banco Popular (through the Puerto Rico Abraza a las Islas campaign), with additional support from Island Foundation, Inc., the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and CFVI.
CFVI President, Dee Baecher-Brown, expressed her excitement about the grants and her appreciation for educators across the territory. “We are thrilled to be providing critical support to the hard-working teachers and staff who – despite the challenges since the storms – are seeking to enhance their instruction and provide students with enriching experiences this school year,” said Baecher-Brown. “We are honored to partner to provide the educational resources our children need to succeed in and out of the classroom.”
Recipients of the 2017-2018 enrichment grants include 20 teachers and professionals working in 14 schools and pre-schools across the territory. These grants ranged from $500-$5,000 to support projects and programs covering a variety of subjects and topics, including literacy, the arts, physical education, reading, writing, and cultural immersion. Grants were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that sought to enrich students’ educational experience and outcomes.
“We are pleased to help and contribute to the education of our young people in the Virgin Islands,” said Oran C. Bowry, Senior Vice President and Division Manager of the Virgin Islands Region of Banco Popular. “For Popular and Fundación Banco Popular, education is the best investment tool we can make for the future of generations. We are proud to support organizations like the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and we hope to continue working together to create a better tomorrow.”
Education Enrichment Grants were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that sought to enrich students’ educational experiences/outcomes. Proposals that represented collaborative endeavors (e.g., public-private partnerships, or schools sharing split session programming), or literacy, English language learners, at-risk youth, or service learning were given priority during the review process.