Caring for Colorado Foundation announced $800,000 in grants to support the care, education and well-being of children and youth as childcare and schooling continue to be disrupted by COVID-19. A survey of school superintendents across Colorado, released last week, shows a high level of concern about the loss of reading skills in kindergarten through third grade students, and for the mental health of middle and high school students. The funding from Caring for Colorado is directed to agencies serving children, youth and families living in communities that are most affected, with a deep focus on children and youth of color, those living in families with low income and others facing significant barriers, such as homelessness.
With a focus on building a healthy future for Colorado children, youth and families, Caring for Colorado is providing grants to 40 schools, after-school programs and community-based organizations in 25 counties across the state. These organizations highlighted the many barriers to student engagement since the transition to remote and hybrid learning, including no or weak internet connections; inadequate technology; caregiver stress; disrupted home environments; hunger; and caretaking responsibilities for younger siblings.