USD 383, USD 475 receive 2023 Department of Defense Education Activity grants totaling more than three million dollars

By Thomas ReustOctober 26, 2023

Fort Riley community school districts receive DoDEA grants.
Fort Riley community school districts receive DoDEA grants. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

Two community schools received 2023 Department of Defense Education Activity grants totaling to over 3 million dollars. USD 475 Geary County School district received 2 million dollars from their Individual Plan of Study project application supporting military affiliated students. USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden School district received a little over 1.2 million dollars for their Educate and Empower through Data-driven Personalized Learning program.

According to the DoDEA, their organization provides instructional program support through grants and curriculum programming to schools across the U.S. and 7 other countries also including Guam and Puerto Rico. The DoDEA provides comprehensive pre-kindergarten through 12th grade College and Career Ready Curriculum with the goal of the program being the support of high student achievement throughout its area of responsibility.

“The reinforcement for tomorrows freedoms are being taught today. We can and must ensure our children have the intellectual advantage over our peers. Failure to do so will be at the cost of our freedom,” said Fort Riley Garrison Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Poulin as he talked about the awardees and the impact of the DoDEA awards.

USD 475’s project focuses on learning objectives involving math, reading, and science following core curricular areas. Students can begin the program in grade 2, and then begin to create an individual plan of study in grades 5 to 8 which will inform their choices going forward on through high school. According to school officials, the plan uses best practices in digital literacy, problem-solving, programming skills, college and career readiness, dual credit-coursework, internships, and work release opportunities. The grant will also support professional development for school staff and helps to bolster what the school considers “vulnerable populations”.

“Well, we're grateful that we have the opportunity one to apply for it. And because 50% or more of our students are military connected, we are a great candidate for these resources,” said USD 475 superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston. “What we've done is tried to find the specific needs that exists within our district and align those funds to helping us meet those needs.”

USD 383 officials say the new comprehensive model called Educate through Data-driven Personalized learning with plans on advancing enlistment in the military, enrollment in higher education, or increasing local employment to community businesses. The program also includes core academics and meeting the social emotional needs of military affiliated students. The district says it will use the grant to increase the ability to provide service to their students, provide professional learning opportunities and in-class curriculum supports, and allowing other avenues of advancement including completing career technical education concentrations. Those efforts will cover students ranging from middle school through high school.

“Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 is elated to be a recipient of this Department of Defense grant,” states Andrea Tiede, Interim Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for USD 383. “This grant will allow us to continue supporting our students and families through school year and summer academics and experiences. Additionally, we are excited to work with our Manhattan High School Career and Technical Education department to expand our community internship and mentorship opportunities for high school students. We value our partnership with Ft. Riley and look forward to doing great things for students and families.”

“These DoDEA grants are a great opportunity for USD 475 and USD 383. This additional funding will enhance the education of both military and non-military students across these districts. Nothing is more important than investing in our children’s education and this is a great opportunity for all,” said Fort Riley Garrison Commander, Col. Michael Foote.