Make Every Day Count Minigrants

Arkansas Community Foundation is partnering with the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading and Attendance Works to help reduce the number of students who chronically miss school. These minigrants will help support programs that are working to reduce chronic school absence. 

Learn more about Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading and Attendance Works

Who's Eligible?

School districts participating in Make Every Day Count training through the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading. For reference the school districts are listed below.

What We're Looking For

This minigrant can be used to enhance ongoing or new efforts to reduce chronic absence that are a part of a school’s or district’s overall chronic absence reduction plan. 

These plans should be based on a tiered approach, as illustrated in the graphic below. 

This list of strategies is not exhaustive; feel free to develop your own ideas about what would work in your school. Additional strategies can be found here

When you apply, we’ll ask you: 

 1. What was your school’s chronic attendance rate last year? (See the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading Principals’ Toolkit  for guidance on calculating your chronic absence rate.) 
2. What’s your school’s chronic absence reduction goal for 2017-2018? 
3. Which population of students will your grant focus on? Is this a Tier One or Whole School strategy? Will you focus on particular sub-groups of students? 
4. What key strategies will you be using to reduce chronic absence? 
5. How will you use the funding to support your goals? 


Grant Funding Range

The maximum grant amount will be $1,000.

Grant Reporting

At the end of the school year, grantees will be required to:
  • Report chronic absence data for their school/district for the 2017-2018 school year. If focusing on a particular sub-group(s) the report should detail the results for that sub-group(s) as well.
  • Describe how the funds were used and the impact that the strategies used had on reducing chronic absence. 
  • Describe what was effective about the strategy chosen and what was difficult or unanticipated.
  • Describe what you learned and what you might do in the coming school year as a result of this experience.

How To Apply

We are  not currently accepting proposals for this grant cycle.  


Why does Chronic Absence Matter? 

In 2013, the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level-Reading (AR-GLR) launched the Make Every Day Count (MEDC) initiative with Attendance Works to help schools, districts and communities track chronic absence and develop and implement plans for keeping children in the classroom.  To reach AR-GLR’s goal of all children reading proficiently by the end of third grade, we must make sure that all children attend school every day. 

Chronic absence is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason. In Arkansas, a student missing 18 or more days of school, or two or more days a month in a school year, is considered chronically absent; a student missing more than ten days is at-risk for chronic absence. If absences add up, the resulting loss of instructional time can be substantial and, for many students, the academic consequences are negative. Children who miss too much school in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and are more likely to have poor attendance in later years. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign that a student will drop out. This is especially true for lower-income students who may have less access to resources to make up for lost instructional time. 


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