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Intent to Award Summer Enrichment Programs for 2024 Released

CSC Leon Intent to Award Summer 2024

March 13, 2024: On Thursday, March 7, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) approved the intent to fund 11 applications received as part of its funding cycle for Summer Enrichment 2024. This funding is designed to expand the capacity of programs to better meet needs of children, youth, and families in Leon County during the summer of 2024. It is also CSC Leon’s intent to “raise the bar” on quality standard implementation during this funding cycle. As such, CSC Leon used strict criteria to review the applicants for application responsiveness. The criteria included but was not limited to minimum duration and dosage, staff-youth ratios, pre-service training requirements, and enrichment components.

Upon contract execution, the selected entities will receive half of their funds as an allocation at the beginning of the project period and be required to submit a detailed report outlining expenses, outcomes and demographics of individuals served by no later than September 15, 2024. Any CSC Leon funds not expended by August 30, 2023, must be returned along with the detailed report.

In total, CSC Leon received 25 applications requesting funding in excess of $3.7 million for the four month service period. Each application was first reviewed by staff to determine initial eligibility. Five applications were returned for various reasons – primarily not meeting the required duration and dosage expectations clearly stipulated in the Request for Applications and discussed in the publicly available informational session. The remaining 20 vendors were passed forward to a panel of external evaluators from the community for independent review and invited to present. Each evaluator received training and a detailed evaluation manual, and was required to disclose real or perceived conflicts of interest. 

During the presentation process, one vendor withdrew their application and three applications were deemed “disqualified” as what was included in their application and what was shared during their presentation revealed the vendor did not meet the minimum standards. On Thursday, February 15, the evaluation panel met to discuss the remaining sixteen applications and issued scores based on published criteria in seven domains. Resulting points ranged from 317.6 to 464.2 out of a possible 500, or averages of 63.5% to 92.8%. CSC Leon published the scores on their website and made it available to all council members.

The Governing Council met Thursday, March 7, to review the scores and make a determination of which programs to fund. Per the request of the chair, staff presented deidentified scores to protect against perception of program bias. During the course of the meeting, General Council Roe requested a public discussion on the names of the applicants to determine if Council Members had any real or perceived conflicts of interest. Staff directed the public in person and online where the names and associated scores were located on the website and pulled the list of applicants’ names who advanced to review. This list did not include those applicants who were deemed ineligible, disqualified or withdrew. Council Member Cummings disclosed that she is a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and connected to one of their ministries, the Bethel Empowerment Foundation, but the applicant, Bethel Christian Academy, is its own entity and therefore not a true conflict. After discussion and public comment, Council members approved summer enrichment applications with an average, rounded score of 75% or greater.

This methodology resulted in an intent to award 11 applications for the 2024 Summer Enrichment funding opportunity, with a total requested of $1,716,951.48. The list of all applications and their final outcome is published below. Please note this is not the final award amount, but rather the cap per awardee pending internal budget request audit.

Those applicants not selected for funding will have the opportunity to receive personalized and group technical assistance to help understand the strengths and opportunities of their application and build capacity to make future applications more competitive.