June 22, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

$1,000 KEEP grants available to Kansas students to combat pandemic learning loss

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The Kansas Education Enrichment Program (KEEP), using $50 million in federal Covid-19 relief funds, offers $1,000 grants to eligible Kansas students to overcome the learning loss incurred during the pandemic.

Some 12,500 students have already benefitted from the program, begun in February, so only about 25% of grant funds have been expended. The program is administered by the Kansas Office of Recovery in conjunction with Merit International, a national government platform service. Taimarie Adams is executive director of grants and scholarships for Merit:

“Once families know about the program, they’re really interested.  But we also know that families are busy, and they might know this is a great resource for the students in their houses, but that it might be complicated, or that they have to fill out a lot of paperwork; so one of the things we’ve done, in partnership with the Office of Recovery, is make this a very easy, seamless application process.”

KEEP is available to eligible students who are:

  • Kansas residents
  • Between the age of 5 (as of August 31, 2022) and 18 (as of May 31, 2023)
  • Enrolled in a K-12 program
  • Students with disabilities through the age of 21 and students above 18 who are still in high school, with proof of active school enrollment in a K-12 program.

All students in a family can receive the grants, and eligibility is determined by household income. The income limits for households not enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and no children in foster care are 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  For example, a family of four with income below $90,000 can participate.

Grant funds are either pay directly to approved suppliers or are reimbursed to families for items such as: classes, tutoring, school supplies, musical instruments fees and classes, technology and even education-oriented summer camps. Families can monitor spending and balances through a digital wallet.

Online applications are available at keep.ks.gov.

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