Florida Education Foundation Awards Distance Learning Grants Valued Over $300,000


May 8, 2020

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Florida Education Foundation Awards Distance Learning Grants Valued Over $300,000
~ Proves Florida’s Education System is Stronger than COVID-19 ~

Tallahassee, Fla. May 8, 2020 - To ensure all Florida teachers, learners and leaders have the tools needed to continue education while navigating COVID-19, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that the Florida Education Foundation (FEF), the Direct Support Organization for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), awarded grants valued over $300,000 in Distance Learning Innovation Mini-Grants to 44 public schools, school districts and non-profit organizations. The Distance Learning Innovation Mini-Grant Program supports education entities in need and helps create innovative solutions for distance learning that benefit students, educators and families.

FDOE and FEF have partnered with companies throughout Florida to provide matching grant funds to organizations and districts that primarily serve students from low-income families. The Distance Learning Innovation Mini-Grant Program was made possible by generous sponsors such as AT&T, CVS Health, Wells Fargo, Florida Power and Light Company, Kyra Solutions, MGT Consulting Group, Gulf Power and Oportun. The Florida Education Foundation was able to provide support to 40 counties, directly impacting over 130,000 students and educators.

“Our focus is to keep Florida students healthy and safe while maintaining a sense of normalcy as we navigate COVID-19 together. Distance learning provides students that normalcy, and ensures student success is, and always will be, our first priority,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Providing our families and educators with the tools they need guarantees every student has the opportunity to succeed. We are extremely thankful to have our dedicated partners join us in this effort.”

"Innovation and collaboration are two factors that play key roles in ensuring student success during this pandemic,” said Charles Hokanson, Florida Education Foundation Chairman. “With the Distance Learning Innovation Mini-Grant program, we can identify solutions to challenges and provide essential resources to our learning communities promptly.”

In order to be eligible for Distance Learning Innovations Mini-Grants, the organizations had to be located in Florida and have the ability to provide match funding for the grant. Priority was given to applicants that serve a majority free or reduced-priced lunch populations and use innovative solutions to meet distance learning needs.

Since the implementation of distance learning on March 17, 2020, school districts have executed their Instructional Continuity Plans that allow students to receive remote instruction from their teachers while school campuses are closed.

For a list of grant recipients and more information about the Florida Education Foundation and the Distance Learning Innovation Mini-Grants, please visit www.floridaeducationfoundation.org/mini-grants.

For more education resources for teachers, students and families during COVID-19, visit the Florida Department of Education COVID-19 Resource Page.

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