The Mind Trust announced it has received $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand and sustain Community Learning Sites, which are small hubs that provide eLearning support and supervision at no cost to Indianapolis families. The funding will be used to expand the number of Community Learning Site locations and, if necessary, extend site operations beyond January 15, 2021.
“The funding from Lilly Endowment will help The Mind Trust continue operating Community Learning Sites and provide assurance to families that sites will remain a free option for their students to continue learning in a safe, productive environment,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “The Mind Trust is grateful to Lilly Endowment for its quick action to support this critical need for Indianapolis families. We are thankful for the work done so far by our current site partners, and are eager to expand this initiative to impact more areas of our city.”
The Mind Trust’s Community Learning Sites have been available at no cost to Indianapolis families since August 17, 2020. There are currently 26 Community Learning Site locations across Indianapolis with the capacity to serve more than 880 students. All sites are open to any student enrolled in grades K-12, regardless of district or school type. To date, The Mind Trust has invested more than $490,000 in Community Learning Sites.
Demand has grown for additional Community Learning Site locations, and the funding from Lilly Endowment will help ensure that The Mind Trust can continue to meet the needs of families if eLearning continues beyond January 2021. The Mind Trust is also working to identify additional partners across Indianapolis that may be interested in becoming a Community Learning Site.
While Marion County schools may now return to in-person learning on January 4, 2021, schools have the option to continue with full-time eLearning. Indianapolis Public Schools has announced the district does not anticipate returning to in-person learning on January 4. The Lilly Endowment grant allows The Mind Trust to be able to support Community Learning Sites beyond January, should the need for them continue.
Community Learning Sites are located across the city and are being hosted by religious congregations, community centers, and youth-serving organizations. Hours vary by location. Sites may be closed during winter break. Families do not need to pay any fees to participate, but they do need to register with the site that works best for them to ensure that each site can follow social distancing guidelines. Breakfast and lunch are served daily at all sites, made possible through a partnership with Second Helpings. Sites have Wifi and staff who can support students with staying on track with eLearning assignments and schedules from their school.
About The Mind Trust
The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit 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, diverse 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, 14 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,600 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at themindtrust.org.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.