Fulfilling the Promise: Neighborhood Advocates Travel to DC

Larkin Tackett, Deputy Director of the US Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods, Promise Ambassador Dawn Glasco, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland and Eric Waldo, chief of staff of the federal "Strong Cities, Strong Communities" program. Photo courtesy Sisters of Charity Foundation.

A small contingent of Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland staff, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland and others visited Washington D.C. recently, meeting with Northeast Ohio’s congressional delegation and with U.S. Department of Education officials on the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood initiative.  

The foundation, the lead applicant for the initiative, applied for $15 million in federal funding over three years from the Department of Education to fund the Promise initiative.

The Promise initiative, a comprehensive effort by the Department of Education and inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone, to ensure that all children have access to good schools and strong family and community support so that they receive an excellent education, graduate from high school and go on to college or other educational opportunities.

The Department of Education funded five Promise implementation initiatives in 2011; the foundation came in sixth, scoring a 93, 0.33 behind the fifth grantee.

The foundation and its partners are working closely with the family and residents of the Central Promise Neighborhood, which runs from Euclid to Woodland avenues and from E. 22 to E. 55 streets.

The foundation is also working closely with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and three “Promise” schools in Central, George Washington Carver, Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy and Marion Sterling schools. The three Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade schools are all in academic emergency.

The Department of Education is expected to fund another round of Promise implementation grants in 2012, and the foundation is planning to reapply.

“Because we were such a high scoring applicant and received such favorable comments from the Department of Education, and due to the cost and burden of resubmitting the application, we are advocating to both the Department of Education and to our Ohio Northeast Delegation to assist us in getting these funds for Cleveland,” said Susanna H. Krey, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “We went to Washington D.C. advocating for the importance of this initiative in the Central neighborhood.

“We believe this advocacy could assist the Department of Education to consider the next set of high scoring unfunded implementation applications as opposed to opening up a new competition.”

The Department could approve the foundation’s application, as well as the three high scoring applicants behind theirs which tied with scores of 92.33, as well as re-opening and allowing new implementation grant applicants.


Joan Mazzolini

Joan Mazzolini is the communications officer at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 10:36 PM, 03.31.2012