WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today congratulated CASA de Maryland for being awarded a $3 million through the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). The grant will be used to fund the Learning Together Project, a multi-tier, multigenerational program designed to give immigrant families the tools they need in order to navigate themselves and their children through the American educational system.
“I am proud that the Department of Education is partnering with CASA de Maryland to develop best practices for strengthening families and communities that will be used nationwide. CASA de Maryland is on the forefront of developing innovative ways to provide immigrant families with critical services,” said Senator Cardin. “The federal dollars going into Langley Park will go far in strengthening our entire county by promoting education as the great equalizer.”
“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “CASA de Maryland is an important part of that ladder for the Latino community in Maryland, providing job training and classes in English, computers and financial literacy. Immigrants have and always will be a part of our nation’s fabric. These federal dollars will help CASA de Maryland provide families with the tools they need to obtain a quality education.”
The i3 grants are highly competitive and only the highest-rated applications (HRA’s) are considered. CASA’s Learning Together was the only applicant from Maryland, and the highest rated applicant in its class. Learning Together is collaboration between Casa De Maryland, Prince Georges Public Schools and the Family School Working Group at the University of Maryland’s College of Education (UMD). The program is a multi-partner, community based initiative designed to build the skill and confidence needed to strengthen families and entire communities.
The Investing in Innovation Fund provides funding to support local educational agencies (LEAs), and nonprofit organizations in partnership with one or more LEAs or a consortium of schools. The purpose of i3 is to provide competitive grants to groups who have an established track record of success in improving achievement and attainment though innovative practices. CASA de Maryland will have to secure funding to match the federal investment to earn the full amount.