WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Spurwink Services in Portland has been awarded a five-year, $20 million Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-up grant from the Department of Education. The funding will support Spurwink’s expansion of its Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) model that aims to improve student academic achievement in high schools. Senators Collins and King wrote a letter in July supporting Spurwink’s grant application.
“Spurwink and its partners have been doing great work through its innovative BARR model to help bolster student achievement, which is why we supported their grant application to the Department of Education,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This grant funding will allow Spurwink to expand on that positive impact for students and educators at schools in Maine and across the country.”
“Spurwink is really pleased to be able to provide the fundamental organizational and fiscal services necessary to scale up this very effective BARR model”, explains Spurwink President and CEO Eric Meyer, LCSW, MBA. “In Maine, the BARR model benefits from the ongoing behavioral health supports that Spurwink provides in public schools, helping students develop their social and emotional skills and engage more fully in learning.”
Spurwink’s BARR model aims to help educators connect with their students and promote student engagement. This evidence-based, whole school reform model has helped to transform school culture and student outcomes. It has demonstrated significant results in increasing credits and standardized tests scores for students in historically low-performing schools.
With this grant funding, Spurwink plans to expand the BARR program to an additional 161 schools. The grant will also support a randomized controlled trial study of the BARR model in 66 low-performing schools.
The i3 grant fund provides support to local education agencies and nonprofit organizations that partner with other local education agencies or schools. Scale-up grants require strong evidence and aim to bring proven programs to the national, regional or state scale.
Spurwink is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization that provides a broad range of education and behavioral health services for children, adolescents, adults, and families.