CCPS Federal & State Grants: Helping Our Community One Family at a Time


Members at the January IIAC meeting welcomed Dr. Maria Torres, Maria Longa, Didi (Edith) Arpaia, and Dr. Jennifer Knutowski from Collier County Public Schools’ (CCPS) Federal and State Grants team. Each presented a different aspect of CCPS Federal and State Grant Programs and their successful community outreach efforts. Dr. Torres, Executive Director of Federal and State grants, opened the presentation with a brief overview of the mission of the CCPS Federal and State: “To provide Exceptional educational opportunities that motivate and engage each student.”

Pictured above l to r: Dr. Maria Torres, Executive Director, ELL & Federal and State Grants; Maria Longa, Director, Federal and State Grants; Dr. Jennifer Knutowski, ESEA Manager, Title 1 Migrant Program; Didi Arpaia, ESEA Manager, Title 1 Basic Program, Parent Academy.

Title I Programs

Maria Longa, Director, CCPS Federal and State Grants, defined Title I programs as those that provide additional instructional support to school districts based on the number of low-income children they serve. Title I goals include: effective instruction, improved student achievement, professional development, and better communication with parents. Currently 24 schools in Collier County meet the criteria for Title I designation and money.

Title I Part A, Part C, Part D, School Improvement Initiative (1003a), School Improvement Grant (1003g), and Title II Part A all fall under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act also known as the No Child Left Behind Act. Allocations for these programs are appropriated by Congress in the Federal Budget.  Collier County Public Schools received $11,126,941 in funds for the 2014-2015 school year.

CCPS is using this money to provide extra services such as a Reading Coach, Homeless Liaison, after school tutoring for at-risk students, staff development and reimbursements, and to develop a parent involvement program called Parent Academy for schools in Collier County that qualify as Title I schools.

CCPS also receives a Title I School Improvement Grant from the Florida DOE for $1,012,585 for the 2014-2015 school year. Under this grant, students at Parkside Elementary receive reading instruction, teacher professional development, and student enrichment activities.

CCPS Title I Parent Academy (CCPS Parent Academy)

Didi Arpaia, ESEA Manager, began with the mission of the Parent Academy program: “to improve student achievement by empowering parents in our school community, and providing them with the necessary tools and resources to help their children succeed in the classroom and beyond”. The CCPS Parent Program offers workshops that revolve around student achievement, parent advocacy and parent self-efficacy. Twenty-seven parent workshops involving 776 families of Title I schools have already be held throughout the CCPS district, with another 41 planned through June 2015.

CCPS Title I Migrant Education Program

Dr. Jennifer Knutowski spoke, first, on who qualifies for the Title I Migrant Education Program (MEP): “children & youth between the ages of birth to 21 years old who have moved with a family member/guardian, or on their own at any time in the last three years to seek work in agriculture (including fishing, dairy or livestock)”. Once qualified the person is eligible for education services such as tutors, after school programs, summer programs; and for support services such as social services, health services, and limited transportation support.

Part of the MEP is an in-home literacy program that serves 300 children age 3-4 by teaching parents and children the “Concepts of Print”. The MEP also serves over 1,000 Out of School Youth (OSY) ages 16-21.

There was so much information packed into a too quickly over time period, that the presenters are graciously sharing their presentation materials. (Federal and State Grants 2015 IIAC Presentation)

Next month join us on February 11th, 12 – 1 pm, SWFLWorks, 750 South 5th St. Immokalee, FL 34142!

Donna Hardy Johnston, Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee


Collier County Public Schools Federal and State Grants:

FSG Director: Maria J. Longa,

District Title I Parent Academy:

Didi Arpaia, ESEA Manager Title 1 PA:

Title I Part C Migrant:

Dr. Jennifer Knutowski, Manager, Title I Migrant Program:


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