STEP UP FOR STUDENTS
Step Up For Students was created to help alleviate the enormous educational challenges faced by children in Florida who live in or near poverty. The program provides Tax Credit Scholarships to students in K-12 who come from low-income families. These scholarships allow the students to consider a participating private school or an out-of-district public school that may better suit their individual needs, an option which already is available to families of greater financial means.
Did you know about these two Florida K-12 scholarship opportunities administered by Step Up For Students?:
- The Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) is a new program that helps families personalize educational plans for their children with special needs. To qualify, students in kindergarten through 12th grade must be diagnosed with one of the following: autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome or an intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment). Also, kindergarteners who are five years old and deemed “high risk” due to developmental delays may be eligible. The PLSA allows parents to direct scholarship funds toward a combination of programs and approved providers including private schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.
- Another option is the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC), a program created in 2001 that provides low-income families with financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another county. If a family’s household income qualifies for the free- or reduced-price school lunch program (185% of the federal poverty guidelines), or if the family receives SNAP (food stamps), TANF, or FDPIR, the student may be eligible. Children in foster care or out-of-home care, or those who are homeless also may be eligible.
Step Up For Students is a nonprofit approved by the state to help administer both programs.
INTERNET ESSENTIALS (BY COMCAST)
Internet Essentials provides low-cost internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training to households with children who qualify for free lunch under the National School Lunch Program.
- Fast, home Internet service for just $9.95 a month + tax.
- No price increases, activation or equipment rental fees while in the program.
- A low-cost home computer available at initial enrollment for just $149.99 + tax.
- Free Internet training—in print, online and in person.
How to qualify:
- Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
- Have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
- Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
- Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
How to apply:
- Call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to request an application (Por aplicar en español, llame al 1-855-765-6995)
- Comcast will mail you an application. Complete and return it, along with lunch program documents from your child’s school
- Comcast will notify you by mail about the status of your application. Allow 7-10 days for a response
FINDING INSPIRATION TOGETHER (FIT)
At the peak of the pandemic when Florida’s students were away from school, FIT provided a free, fun, and easy way for kids to learn about nutrition, fitness, and wellness from the comfort of home. With dozens of videos (or “modules”) on a variety of topics with a holistic approach to health, this resource is timeless.
FARM TO LEON COUNTY SCHOOLS (FARM TO FORT)
Unfortunately, many children don’t have access to proper food and nutrition education. Learning where your food comes from and how it can benefit your health can not only impact the wellness and outlook of children, but influence nutrition decisions well into their adult years.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers Farm to School grants for planning, developing, and implementing farm to school projects in schools across the nation. With one of those planning grants and an amazing group of community partners, we’re now able to bring that mission to Leon County.