INDIANAPOLIS — (October 15, 2020) — The Mind Trust today announced the extension of its Community Learning Site initiative with an $88,000 investment, which includes a $24,000 contribution from the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, to fund the continued operation of three sites. The three sites that will continue to serve students through Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 are: Christamore House, Cornerstone Lutheran Church operated by Shepherd Community Center, and The Reset Center.
“We are proud of the work all of our Community Learning Site partners did over the last nine weeks to meet the needs of families and students who might not have otherwise had access to eLearning support and childcare,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “The generous support from the Office of Education Innovation means we can continue to provide this needed service to families at no cost to them. We are grateful to be able to extend this initiative, and will continue to look for ways The Mind Trust can support schools, families, and students during this critical time.”
The Mind Trust’s extension of Community Learning Sites is due to generous contributions from individuals from across the community. Today Mayor Joe Hogsett announced additional funding from the Office of Education Innovation and applauded The Mind Trust’s community-focused initiative.
“The Mind Trust’s investment in continuing the Community Learning Sites shows their commitment to Indianapolis students and families. I’m grateful this option exists so that parents and caregivers can head back to work and know their children have a safe, supportive environment for eLearning,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.
After many schools and districts, including Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), announced they would return to school fully virtual, The Mind Trust launched 11 Community Learning Sites on Aug. 17, 2020 to give working families a no-cost, weekday eLearning and childcare option. The sites were able to serve up to 500 students, and quickly became a popular option for families. More than 100 students were on waiting lists at different sites. Students enrolled in IPS, charter schools, and township schools utilized sites, which grew to 15 locations across the city.
With this extension, The Mind Trust’s current total investment in Community Learning Sites is $276,145. After the initial investment of $200,000 in August, the organization incurred additional costs during the process of setting up the sites, such as covering the cost of background checks for eLearning Facilitators.
In addition to funding support, The Mind Trust also provided a range of supports to partners to assist in the implementation of this new initiative, including recruiting and matching eLearning Facilitators with sites, training facilitators, and helping sites navigate school-aged children childcare regulations with Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration staff. The Mind Trust placed 21 eLearning Facilitators at Community Learning Sites, which was identified as one of the most impactful supports provided to site partners.
While demand still remains, most schools and districts have begun offering an in-person option. Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has reported that approximately 80% of families have chosen to return to in-person instruction, which the district began phasing in on Oct. 5, 2020. The three Community Learning Site locations that are being extended will be in operation until Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 and will be able to serve up to 130 students.
Community Learning Site partners were selected for extension based on an organization’s interest in participation, capacity to continue to implement programming, and location in high-need areas. The three extended Community Learning Sites provide access to this option on the west, near east, and far east sides of the city.
The Christamore House, Cornerstone Lutheran Church, and The Reset Center sites will continue to be open at no cost to students currently enrolled in grades K-12, but parents must register with the site that works best for them. There are no school type or district requirements for a student to be enrolled in a particular district or school type to be able to attend. Breakfast and lunch will be served daily at all sites. Interested families can go to CommunityLearningSites.org to find current locations, hours, and information on how to register.
The Mind Trust is still accepting donations from the community to continue supporting this effort for Indianapolis students and families. Community members may donate online at themindtrust.org/donate.
About The Mind Trust
The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit organization that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 38 schools and helped place more than 1,600 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at themindtrust.org.
About the Office of Education Innovation
The Office of Education Innovation (OEI) is a charter school authorizer known nationally for providing high-quality school options for Indianapolis students. The office is responsible for overseeing the academics, finances, and operations of mayor-sponsored public charter schools that educate more than 19,000 students across the city. To learn more, visit oei.indy.gov.Download Press Release