June 29, 2018
Contact: Judith Cebula

 $12.2 Million in Grants to Help Indiana Schools

Strengthen Counseling Programs

INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved a second round of grants to Indiana school corporations and charter schools to help them implement promising strategies to strengthen school counseling programs for their students. The grants to 39 school corporations and charter schools are part of the Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students (Counseling Initiative).

Launched in September 2016, the Counseling Initiative is a multi-year effort designed to encourage the state’s school corporations and charter schools to develop new school counseling approaches that address more effectively the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students. The grants range from $99,368 to $1.39 million. A list of the school corporations and charter schools receiving the second round grants can be found here.

As with the first round, school corporations and charter schools in this second round were able to apply for grants of up to $100 per student enrolled in their schools. Those with enrollments of 1,000 students or fewer were able to request up to $100,000, even though that amount exceeds $100 per student. Grants in the first round were approved in September 2017.

Similar to first round proposals, a majority of proposals in the second round noted that schools are overwhelmed by the social and emotional challenges their students face, which they indicated have worsened in recent years because of the opioid addiction crisis affecting Indiana communities. They report that too often counselors don’t have the time they need for academic and college and career advising because they must address their students’ urgent social and emotional challenges. Moreover, too many counselors are assigned non-counseling work in their schools, such as administering state tests, assessments and Advanced Placement exams, which takes time away from their counseling responsibilities.

School corporations and charter schools proposed to use the grants to launch a variety of efforts that include, among other strategies:

  • Collaborating with mental health care providers to address their students’ social, and emotional challenges;
  • Engaging local businesses in helping to prepare students for a range of employment opportunities, including developing mentoring and internship programs and planning industry information sessions and site visits to local companies;
  • Implementing a comprehensive counseling model developed by the American School Counselor Association;
  • Making use of digital tools and integrating college and career exploration and preparation into curricula;
  • Providing professional development to teachers, counselors and administrators so they can identify and address the social and emotional needs of students in order to improve overall student wellbeing;
  • Partnering with community organizations, including colleges and universities to offer college counseling, financial aid assistance, campus visits and related programs.

“The response to this initiative from school corporations and charter schools across Indiana reflects an increased awareness of the crucial need to strengthen and expand school counseling programs,” said Sara B. Cobb, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We are impressed with how school leaders have engaged a wide variety of community partners to assess the academic, college, career and social and emotional needs of their students, and respond to them.”

Some School Districts Working Together

School corporations and charter schools in six Indiana counties are receiving funding for collaborative proposals. The Endowment recognized their interest in working together to leverage resources and community partnerships. The collaborative efforts are being funded through grants to 17 school corporations and charter schools working in four groups. Two collaborations reflect strong countywide partnerships. Two others demonstrate interest in working across county lines to help students. They are:

  • Delaware County Collaborative Program with eight school corporations and charter schools: Burris Laboratory School (Ball State University), Cowan Community Schools, Daleville Community Schools, Inspire Academy, Liberty-Perry School Corporation, Muncie Community Schools, Wes-Del School Corporation and Yorktown School Corporation.
  • Wayne County Collaborative Program with four school corporations: Centerville-Abington Community Schools, Nettle Creek School Corporation, Northeastern Wayne Schools and Western Wayne Schools.
  • Morgan County and Monroe County Collaborative Program with two school corporations: Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation and Metropolitan School District of Martinsville.
  • Whitley County and Kosciusko County Collaborative Program with three school corporations: Smith-Green Community Schools, Whitko Community School Corporation and Whitley County Consolidated Schools.Through the two rounds of grants a total of 96 school corporations and charter schools serving students in 43 of Indiana’s 92 counties will be working toward comprehensive counseling programs.

Through the two rounds of grants a total of 96 school corporations and charter schools serving students in 43 of Indiana’s 92 counties will be working toward comprehensive counseling programs.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.