Grant Year: 2023 | Focus Area: Education| Grant Amount: $108,364| Grant Status: In progress
The Umbrella Learning Academy (ULA) is an inclusive private school that serves students from PreK through 12th grade. Its mission is to empower students to discover, develop, and manage their unique gifts and talentsthrough individualized learning plans focusing on where a student is now and where their future goals are. ULAhas completed 2 full school years since it was founded. During the 2021-2022 school year, it started with 13 full-time students and as of June, 64 students are enrolled for Fall 2023 with expectations that will increase. Each full-time student who attends ULA is the recipient of a Florida Step Up for Students scholarship, which provideseducational options for students whose needs are not being met in their zoned public school. Teachers plan lessonsin ways that will engage their classes and meet student needs making certain they base all learning goals onFlorida BEST Standards for each grade level. ULA has graduated one student from the program, who went on tocomplete Army basic training and is currently stationed in Korea and working in the intelligence field. The ULAis extremely proud of him and excited to watch more ULA students move on to higher education and/or careersin the future.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT
Umbrella Learning Academy needs solutions for transporting students to and from school and other activities. Asmany of its students fall in the low-income category, transportation is often a factor that limits them being able toattend ULA or is even a barrier to attending school on a consistent basis. In addition, some students have physicaldisabilities that limit their mobility, causing them to be unable to participate in activities that require specifictransportation accommodations. IMPACT 100 grant funds will be used to purchase two 15 passenger vans, trainstaff to operate them, and cover the cost of car seats, boosters, and equipment to aid students with disabilities.This would allow the school to offer daily transportation to families who need that service, as well as increaseULA’s ability to participate in community service opportunities, local enrichment programs, and local and state4-H programming. In addition to enhancing student access to these activities, this project allows staff theopportunity to create partnerships that will boost student readiness for further education or for the workforce.
EXPECTED IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
This project is critical to enhancing ULA’s mission and vision by providing access to its unique schoolenvironment, allowing staff the opportunity to expose students to educational off-campus experiences, andcreating partnerships that will boost student readiness for further education or the workforce. Being able toprovide daily transportation to and from school will give students with working parents, no transportation, orunstable living arrangements the ability to attend this school. Having a means to transport students to otherlocations in the community gives staff the ability to plan off-campus activities i.e., historical sites, museums, andcommunity events that will enhance students’ education. Being able to provide these opportunities will expandstudents' knowledge and help create well rounded children. ULA would like to be able to help its middle and highschool students plan for their future. Whether their interests lie in higher education, the military, or vocationalareas, having transportation will give ULA the opportunity to partner with institutions of higher learning,recruiters, businesses, and vocational schools to help students learn about ways to pursue and achieve future goals.