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Boys Town Nevada and CIS Partners Earn Full-Service Community Schools Grant From U.S. Department of Education

On February 20, 2024, Communities In Schools of Nevada (CIS of Nevada) hosted a brief ceremony at J.D. Smith Middle School to mark the occasion of being awarded a Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) five-year $11,852,258 grant from the United States Department of Education. This award was celebrated in partnership with Boys Town Nevada and other nonprofits that will receive a portion of the funding.

CIS of Nevada was the only Nevada-based organization awarded a portion of the $74 million in Federal funds and was among 30 national recipients from an application pool of 239.

The grant will enhance collaborative efforts across dozens of community organizations to provide critical services to six schools and their surrounding communities in three school districts. CIS will serve as the acting fiscal agent, allocating over 60 percent of funding to its partners, including Boys Town Nevada.

With ongoing challenges in chronic absenteeism, increased behavior incidents on school campuses, and stalled achievement in math and reading, all exacerbated by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, this investment from the Biden-Harris administration is timely to meet students’ urgent needs.

The FSCS grant supports educational agencies, nonprofits, and other public or private organizations and their unique missions to improve achievement and different outcomes for students through four pillars:

1) Integrated student supports that address out-of-school barriers to learning through partnerships with social and health service agencies and providers.

2) Expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities.

3) Active family and community engagement.

4) Collaborative leadership and practices.

This FSCS grant will support students, families, and educators at:

  • J.D. Smith Middle School and Rancho High School in the Clark County School District by bringing key partners on campus, including Boys Town Nevada, Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, The Harbor with the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, Nevada State University and Workforce Connections.

CIS of Nevada will contribute an additional $1.5 million to support the overall project, or about 13% of the project cost, bringing the total investment to just over $13 million with 87% of the project financed with federal funds.

The grant was secured in partnership with Nevada GrantLab and its expert partners. Nevada GrantLab is a nonprofit organization that aims to help nonprofits, including Boys Town Nevada access more federal funds.

Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee’s Full-Service Community Schools Expansion Act, which would increase funding for the Full-Service Community Schools Program to $1 billion over five years, has been endorsed by several national and local education groups, including Communities in Schools of Nevada.

John Etzell, Executive Director for Boys Town Nevada, said the grant is beneficial for everyone involved.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to come together and enhance services at these schools to support their goals of students being able to graduate college and career ready,” Etzell said. “We are proud to be a partner and component of their success!”