School Based Programs Guidelines

Carolyn Foundation only funds programs in Great MN Schools’ Portfolio and Partner middle schools committed to closing the gap for low-income students in Minneapolis.

We are committed to partnering with schools that provide quality education for BIPOC students and those receiving free and reduced lunch (FRL). We know that the benefits of additional programs and resources in these schools will be used wisely and support a high-quality education system. We also know that enrichment and after-school programs sometimes unwittingly draw families to schools that are failing these students, creating a harmful unintended consequence.

We seek programs that apply proven best practices, including active student choice and voice (see links on the previous page) and respectfully support young people and their families in culturally appropriate ways.

In addition to our continuing emphasis on developmentally appropriate programs for middle school students, we also recognize the importance of culturally relevant programs, Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) staff, and organizations that empower young people to develop agency, independence, and empowerment. We prefer programs that explicitly demonstrate equity, inclusion, and empowerment lens in their work.

All in- and after-school programs at schools must include a letter of support from the school leader (not community ed.) explaining how and why the program fits the school’s priorities and plans.

We will consider programs in and after-school at these schools, which are working to improve outcomes for low-income, BIPOC students:

  • Ascension Catholic School
  • Friendship Academy of the Arts
  • Hennepin Middle School
  • Hiawatha College Prep
  • New City School
  • New Millennium Academy
  • Northeast College Prep
  • Prodeo Academy
  • Risen Christ Catholic School
  • St. Helena Catholic School
  • St. John Paul II Catholic School

We are most interested in schools that serve high-need students. In schools where 50% or more student receive Free/Reduced Lunch, we will assume all school-wide programs fit this target. In schools with a lower percent FRL population, please explain how your program specifically benefits this population. For after-school programs, we are interested in the participation rate for FRL students in the specific program.