Delaware County Schools Receive $1.39 Million Award From Lilly Endowment

Delaware County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition. Photo provided.Delaware County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition. Photo provided.

By: Tammy Pearson, Project Leadership Director—

Delaware County, IN—Eight Delaware County school corporations have received a collaborative grant totaling $1,393,400 countywide from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of the Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students.

Burris Laboratory School, Cowan Community Schools, Daleville Community Schools, Inspire Academy, Liberty-Perry Community Schools, Muncie Community Schools, Wes-Del Community Schools and Yorktown Community Schools were eight of 39 school corporations and charter schools in Indiana selected during a second round of grants to help schools implement plans to meet the complex academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students.

The amount of the grant funds the eight school corporations were awarded is based on their total enrollment. The grant award breakdown by school corporation is:

Burris Laboratory School: $100,000
Cowan Community School Corp.: $100,000
Daleville Community Schools: $100,000
Inspire Academy: $100,000
Liberty-Perry Community Schools: $122,800
Muncie Community Schools: $511,400
Wes-Del School Corp.: $100,000
Yorktown Community Schools: $259,200

All eight Delaware County school systems applied jointly for a grant as part of a first-of-its kind countywide collaborative effort to build a comprehensive counseling system for the more than 12,000 K-12 students in Delaware County. The grant will enable schools to enhance their counseling programming through implementation of social and emotional and college and career focused services. The school systems collaborated with Project Leadership to design a community comprehensive counseling model and implementation plan.

Launched in September 2016, the Counseling Initiative is a multi-year effort designed to encourage the state’s school corporations and charter schools to develop new school counseling approaches that address more effectively the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students. The grants range from $99,368 to $1.39 million.

As with the first round, school corporations and charter schools in this second round were able to apply for grants of up to $100 per student enrolled in their schools. Those with enrollments of 1,000 students or fewer were able to request up to $100,000, even though that amount exceeds $100 per student.

Similar to first round proposals, a majority of proposals in the second round noted that schools are overwhelmed by the social and emotional challenges their students face, which they indicated have worsened in recent years because of the opioid addiction crisis affecting Indiana communities. They report that too often counselors don’t have the time they need for academic and college and career advising because they must address their students’ urgent social and emotional challenges. Moreover, too many counselors are assigned non-counseling work in their schools, such as administering state tests, assessments and Advanced Placement exams, which takes time away from their counseling responsibilities.

“The response to this initiative from school corporations and charter schools across Indiana reflects an increased awareness of the crucial need to strengthen and expand school counseling programs,” said Sara B. Cobb, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We are impressed with how school leaders have engaged a wide variety of community partners to assess the academic, college, career and social and emotional needs of their students, and respond to them.”


About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.