MUNCIE − Marian University has been awarded a $500,000 grant over three years to expand its City Connects program in Muncie Community Schools.

City Connects, which has already been working in MCS, tackles problems faced by young students outside the classroom that diminish a child's ability to learn and succeed in school.

The MCS grant is one of 14 totaling $9.63 million awarded by the Indiana University Health Community Impact Investment Fund. The fund, administered by the IU Health Foundation, seeks to improve the lives of Hoosiers in need by addressing critical social and environmental factors that impact health outcomes.

City Connects takes a systemic, cost-effective, multi-year approach to address the out-of-school factors that limit student learning. This practice makes a significant impact on students – now and for years to come – including better academic performance, improved attendance, and higher graduation rates, according to a press release from the program based in Marian University in Indianapolis.

The program targets high-poverty urban school districts.

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