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Dec. 15, 2016

MSU receives $2M grant from Mott Foundation to improve future for Flint students

Michigan State University's Office of K-12 Outreach will continue to help improve educational opportunities for students in the city of Flint, thanks to a $2.1 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The funding builds on an existing partnership between the Office of K-12 Outreach, part of the College of Education, and the Flint Community Schools that has already led to significant changes.

Over the past year, with an initial $2 million grant from the Mott Foundation, MSU has helped Flint Superintendent Bilal Tawwab and his central office staff initiate major reforms in personnel policy, the collection and use of data and how it provides services to pre-K children and their families. The MSU K-12 Outreach team of faculty and veteran leadership coaches also supported Flint principals as they improved programs in schools, especially in the areas of literacy and math.

Those efforts have laid a foundation for future success, says Tawwab.

“Flint Community Schools is excited to be entering year two of our partnership with Michigan State University’s Office of K-12 Outreach,” Tawwab said. “As I visit schools and engage with teachers and leaders, there is an observable shift in the conversation. More and more, our leaders and teachers are engaged in meaningful dialogue on what matters most -- teaching and learning.”

Over the coming year, MSU K-12 Outreach will use the new Mott Foundation grant to continue working with Flint Community Schools on four major strategies:

  • Developing student support systems, which will help nurture and guide students throughout their educational career (pre-K to graduation).
  • Strengthening curriculum and teaching by enhancing instruction and helping teachers and school leaders work together effectively.
  • Cultivating the district’s leadership and organizational structure through leadership training on the effective use of data, and the creation of a strong school culture through coaching and professional development.
  • Strengthening community relations by forging new bonds between the district and the broader community, including a focus on wrap-around services for Flint children.

“This is a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students of Flint Community Schools,” said Barbara Markle, assistant dean and director of the Office of K-12 Outreach. “MSU K-12 Outreach has a long history of applying cutting-edge educational research to the practical problems of Michigan schools. We have learned that the key to success is working directly with teachers, administrators and students.”