CUMBERLAND, R.I. – Blackstone Valley Prep is humbled to announce that it has been awarded a Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grant from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the amount of up to $500,000 to be disbursed over a two-year period. The FDS Demonstration Grants Program is intended to help build the capacity of local educational agencies, such as BVP, to meet the needs of students, including academic, social, emotional, and mental health by increasing access to and equity in diverse and inclusive learning environments.
In total, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $14 million to 14 school districts spanning 12 states. BVP is the only school district in New England to receive an FDS grant.
Since its founding in 2009, BVP has been a model of an integrated school system, proving what is possible for academic achievement, expanded college access, and school culture when district boundaries are dissolved to build diverse classrooms with high expectations and high levels of support for all students.
The FDS grant, which is restricted to a specific set of programs and activities, will have a transformative impact on BVP’s ability to implement strategies designed to sustain and strengthen its intentionally diverse model. Some of the initiatives that this grant will enable BVP to fund include: providing expanded opportunities for college and career exploration, continuing to address the post-pandemic academic and social-emotional needs of students, and building capacity for family engagement and communications so that all families understand the benefits of diverse classrooms and the quality of BVP’s program.
“We’re honored and deeply grateful to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for their trust and investment in our mission and values, and we offer our sincere congratulations to our peer grant recipients,” said Sarah Anderson, chief executive officer and superintendent. “Through these efforts, we’re able to continue to nurture an intentionally diverse, inclusive, and identity-affirming and empowering school community.”
“When children are prepared to mindfully and confidently engage with others in our dynamic world, everybody wins,” said Board Chair and Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera. “This national recognition should be a source of pride for Rhode Island.”
About Blackstone Valley Prep
Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) is a network of tuition-free public schools chartered by the Rhode Island Department of Education. BVP offers a high-quality public school choice to the families of Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, and Pawtucket and currently serves 2,300 scholars, ages 5-22, across six schools: three elementary schools, an upper elementary school (grades 5-6), a junior high school (grades 7-8), and high school. BVP is a proud member of The Bridges Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind school integration initiative powered by The Century Foundation that gathers school districts, charter management networks, and housing organizations to champion integrated schools and diverse neighborhoods across the country. BVP public charter schools are free, public, and open to all. Our mission is to prepare every scholar to achieve their goals for college and the world beyond. More information can be found at www.blackstonevalleyprep.org.