Snap Fact #302
President Obama Established “Promise Neighborhood” Grants to Give Disadvantaged Youngsters a Hand Up Rather Than a Hand Out!

In order to level the playing field for kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and provide them with the opportunity to have a world class education and a better overall future, President Obama kept another campaign pledge and established the Promise Neighborhood Grants in 2010 as he vowed he would during his campaign in 2008.

"The challenges in distressed communities across the country demand innovative and comprehensive solutions that put education at the center," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Promise Neighborhoods is an important investment that helps communities create and execute plans that provide educational, health, and safety services to combat the conditions of poverty and help create greater opportunities for all children."

The main goal of this program, Modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, is to increase access to health care, social welfare, and safety services to kids in low-income families in order to provide a better living opportunities to people in economically challenged neighborhoods where normally expected services such as these are lacking.
The program also provides access to technology and Internet for local schools in these districts. Promise Neighborhood Grants were established in the form of a competition to promote organizations doing their best to uplift local public educational systems and the surrounding communities they serve. Nonprofits, Universities, and Indian tribes compete to apply for funds to develop and implement programs to achieve these goals.

By April of 2012 the U.S. Department of Agriculture released $60 million to the Promise Neighborhoods program. This money was specifically earmarked to continue support for existing grantees as well as to award a new round of grants.

The program began in 2010 with the granting of $10 million to get the ball rolling. President Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget requests $100 million to provide continued funding support to implementation grantees in addition to funding a fourth round of planning grants and a third round of implementation grants.

President Obama is once again creating the foundation for the future with this forward thinking program that creates another rung on the ladder that give youngsters in impoverished circumstances to climb up and out of the poverty they were born into.