Nonprofit receives federal money for anti-truancy programby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Leaders of a Minneapolis non-profit say they've raised the private money needed to secure $5 million in federal money for expanding a program at St. Louis Park High School.
Search Institute was the only Minnesota-based group out of more than 1,700 applicants to win so-called "I-3" money from the U.S. Education Department.
CEO Peter Benson said the program in St. Louis Park aims to reduce truancy and drop-outs by engaging ninth-graders in activities aimed at helping that transition to high school.
"In the school reform area, there's so much work about the rigor of the curriculum, about the quality of teaching, about tests," Benson said. "Some of that is good and fine, but what we think has been missing is paying attention to the developmental needs of young people -- to connect, to be in community."
One requirement to get the federal money was that winning organizations raise additional private funds by this Wednesday. Search Institute had to raise $1 million; a goal Benson said will be met.