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Neighborhood Program Awarded $25M Grant

12/31/2012, 1:26 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) has received an historic 5-year, $25 million grant from the US Department of Education's Promise Neighborhood Fund to help transform education, healthcare, and other services available to children and their parents living in the city's underserved Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held a press conference at Neval Thomas Elementary in Northeast Washington, DC, where he announced all 17 winners of the 2012 Promise Neighborhoods $60 million grant fund.

"I congratulate DCPNI and its partners for not only uniting the Kenilworth Parkside community around a common vision, but for doing so with a rigorous, research-based approach to bettering the lives of all young people in the community," he said. "This is not a gift, it is an investment."

DCPNI provides a transformative continuum of cradle-to-career services to the children and parents of the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood located in Northeast. The organization will receive the $25 million over 5 years to provide wraparound services and community support to families across 4 schools and their communities: Neval Thomas Elementary; Kenilworth Elementary; Chavez Parkside Middle School; and Chavez Parkside High School.

DCPNI is one of only seven U.S. communities, out of 60 applicants, to receive the U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood implementation grant. In 2010, the DCPNI was one of 21 national recipients of a federal Promise Neighborhood planning grant.

"We are thrilled to receive this pivotal funding," said Ayris T. Scales, DCPNI executive director. "The DC Promise Neighborhood is dedicated to improving the lives of children in this community, and supporting their parents so that their children succeed. Our goal is to increase the number of children in our community who have access to a quality education, graduate from high school, obtain a college or vocational degree, and become successful in their careers and communities."

Renowned educational advocate Alma J. Powell, wife of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, is the chair of America's Promise Alliance and honorary chair of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative.

"The DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative reminds us that the true power and potential of a community is revealed when it comes together for its children," she said. "Winning this grant is not just a point of pride for the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and city of Washington, DC, but for the nation. The 'Five Promises for Two Generations' framework will most surely help us become a graduation nation."