This week, NBC 5 is continuing to highlight #SomethingGood that our parent company, NBC Universal, is doing for local organizations.
It's awarding its latest round of Project Innovation grants to several nonprofits.
One of those grants goes to Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute in Dallas, which received an award of $55,000.
"We are out in the community leveling the playing field, so that every child will have a chance to succeed," said Charnella Derry, president and founder of Beacon Hill Prep.
Beacon Hill partners with public and charter schools to help fight educational inequality and the COVID-19 learning gap that so many students have been experiencing during the pandemic.
"We primarily serve those students who are already behind. So imagine COVID coming. That gap widened for especially the students that we serve," said Derry.
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Their goal is to help students reach grade-level proficiency or above in both math and reading. They do this through small-group tutoring delivered through in-school, after-school, summer, and virtual programs serving primarily high-need schools and students in South Dallas and surrounding communities.
"COVID affected everyone. But for us, we were already in the school systems and we had to quickly pivot to online learning," said Derry. "And so that was a year like none other. We were able to continue to partner with the school systems and provide virtual tutoring, and a hybrid method for the schools….thankfully we were able to deliver all 900 students were able to be able to be serviced online."
In addition to student tutoring, they provide critical parent education and college preparation (grades 9-12) support.
Beacon Hill Prep so far impacts at least 1,000 students a year, with further efforts to provide care packages and school supplies for kids in the program.
This grant money will now help them expand their efforts to other areas in North Texas.
“We're now expanding into other districts, other community centers – so the need is great. Next year we'll be in Fort Worth ISD,” said Charnella Derry, president and founder of Beacon Hill Prep. “So to move from being able to serve an additional 400 students with the help of NBC 5, it’s amazing. We are still celebrating over at Beacon Hill."
Right now, Beacon Hill is registering for the fall semester. Click here for more information and to see which schools are covered. If your child’s school isn’t included, parents can also apply for scholarships and other resources.
Beacon Hill is also in search of volunteers and staff.
"We're hiring just like the other school districts and and so we need the support -- whether it's volunteers or staff that want to join the team," said Derry.
Click here for more information on volunteering.