February 11, 2022 by HCDE-Texas
CASE for Kids’ City Connections and County Connections grants award funding to nonprofits offering engaging out-of-school time activities to sites across Houston and Harris County, including fine arts, academic enrichment, college exploration, and youth mentoring.
Earlier this year, CASE for Kids announced that all prospective afterschool and out-of-school time youth service providers seeking funding from HCDE would need to become an approved vendor to qualify for upcoming funding opportunities.
As the deadline to become an approved CASE for Kids vendor approaches on February 22, we speak to Kidz K’nect Resource Center Director Jacqui Goudeau, who describes what grants like these mean for organizations like hers, which specializes in afterschool learning for children experiencing academic challenges.
How did the grant funds awarded by City Connections benefit your organization and, in turn, the students it serves?
JG: “We provide reading and math tutoring for children who’ve had setbacks due to Covid or foster kids who’ve been moving from place to place. One [student] is 13 years old, and he can’t read. We try to deal with the needs of the kids and make them comfortable. Having smaller groups takes the embarrassment off. We’re new to [City Connections], but these funds allowed us to hire retired teachers who know how to help students under special circumstances. Now, a boy who could not read at all is really excited about reading. After tutoring, they move on to “the world of art”—which is the art of living, the art of life where they can unwind, enjoy themselves, have some fun with art, and learn life skills such as budgeting. We’re also able to feed them, so parents don’t have to use that as a reason why they can’t come. We make sure they have supplies and that we’re using the devices they use at school as well.”
What does City Connections mean to you?
JG: “It takes the overhead concern off some things so we can focus on the kids. I like to say, ‘All kids are smart. We just have to figure out how they’re smart.’ It’s about empowering them.”
Nonprofits interested in competing to become an afterschool and summer youth services provider for CASE for Kids must register as a bidder or “supplier” on HCDE’s eBid system and respond to RFP #22/012IA-2 (CASE for Kids Youth Services for Afterschool and Summer).
For more information, visit hcde-texas.org/afterschoolzone/youth-services-for-afterschool-and-summer-rfps. For questions about funding opportunities, contact CASE for Kids Resources Manager Mary Glover at 713-696-1360 or email@example.com. For questions about the new vendor approval process, contact Inga Ash via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.