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Boston Promise Initiative (BPI) Awarded $6M by Dept Education

The Boston Promise Initiative (BPI), a collaborative effort led by Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, has been awarded $6 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Education.

Boston Promise InitiativeDSNI Executive Director John Barros said, “We’re proud to be one of only seven communities to receive a 2012 Promise Neighborhood implementation grant. These funds will strengthen and accelerate our work with residents and partners to prioritize student achievement and high-performing schools as part of our neighborhood transformation strategy.”

The grant will be used to catalyze and create “cradle to career solutions” to ensure that academic and developmental outcomes are significantly improved for children and youth in the Dudley neighborhood of Boston. 

The federal funding award for year 1 is $1.485 million, which will be leveraged by an additional $1.2 million in public and private investments in the first year, with a total match over five years of $6 million. These matching funds are critical for the Boston Promise Initiative to be able to achieve the desired outcomes of the proposal.  

BPI Vision

Boston Promise Initiative’s vision is that all children growing up in the Dudley Promise Neighborhood have access to effective schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and career.

Accomplishment:  New Charter School
  • One major accomplishment of the Boston Promise Initiative to date was the effort led by BPE (formerly known as Boston Plan for Excellence) to open a new Boston Public Schools elementary school, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, in September 2012. 
  • Boston Promise Initiative is also playing a major role in school improvement efforts at Orchard K-8 School, Dearborn Middle School, and Burke High School, as well as school readiness efforts through Dudley Children Thrive. 

BPI partners are engaged in a wide range of efforts, which together have leveraged over $70 million in aligned investments and the participation of civic leaders from all sectors. Coupled with resident leadership, this involvement and these investments are sparking innovative strategies for change through alignment of plans, people, and resources.

Aligned with City's Circle of Promise

The Boston Promise Initiative is closely aligned with the City’s Circle of Promise effort, a school-based and place-based strategy that focuses on high student achievement and supports for students and families in an area of Boston with a high number of underperforming schools.

“This is wonderful news for Boston,” said Mayor Thomas Menino.
“The implementation grant will enable Boston to expand the impact of our overall education agenda, and to build strategies which can be used across the Circle of Promise to promote the well-being of students and their families.”

In 2010, DSNI was one of 21 national recipients of a Promise Neighborhood planning grant, which led to the establishment of the Boston Promise Initiative. DSNI used that grant to convene over 800 neighborhood stakeholders and partners to plan for the first year of pilot programming in the Dudley Village Campus.

DSNI and community partners will celebrate the news about the Promise Neighborhood grant at the DSNI Open House on Friday, January 25th from 4-8pm.

BPI Partners

In the planning and creation of the Boston Promise Initiative, DSNI has been aided by more than 165 community and institutional partners, including: The City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Boston Public Health Commission, BPE, Project Hope, The Barr Foundation, The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Thrive in 5, Associated Early Care and Education, The Boston Children’s Museum, The Boston Opportunity Agenda, Boston After School and Beyond, Children’s Services of Roxbury, University of Massachusetts Boston, UMass Boston Center for Community Democracy and Democratic Literacy, ABCD, and many others.

For a complete listing of Boston Promise Initiative partners go to www.dsni.org.

“The Boston Public School District is pleased to be a partner in this effort," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. “The Boston Promise Initiative partnership will help us meet our goal of providing every child in our city with the resources they need to succeed.”

About DSNI

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) formed in 1984 when residents of the Dudley Street area of Roxbury and North Dorchester came together to revive their neighborhood; a community that had been devastated by arson, disinvestment, and neglect.

DSNI’s mission is to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create, and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners. DSNI today is a collaborative effort of over 3,000 residents and local organizations committed to revitalizing this culturally diverse neighborhood and maintain its character and affordability.


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Posted: January 18, 2013     Nancy J Conrad


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