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Grants to Colorado Educational Providers, Libraries, Nonprofits, IHEs,
Tribes, and Agencies to Expand Educational Options for Students

ESSER Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grant Program

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Colorado Department of Education (CDE) - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

06/28/22 11:59 PM MDT


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Grants to Colorado local educational providers, public libraries, nonprofit organizations, IHEs, Tribes, and public agencies for projects to expand educational opportunities for students. Funding is intended to support students and communities as they recover from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As Colorado students and families continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Department of Education seeks to support and empower students and families across the state through a coordinated, comprehensive, and consistent community approach. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the academic and personal challenges many students face. Helping them overcome those challenges requires not only the efforts of educators during the school day but also the efforts of student-centric afterschool and summer programming.

As such, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is creating a grant program that will support districts and community-based organizations (CBOs) in creating new, or expanding existing, expanded learning opportunities (ELOs). This program will be funded under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) state reserve.

This program exists to distribute funds to qualified applicants, pursuant to the American Rescue Plan requirements for the state education agency to reserve 1% of the state set aside to fund evidence-based comprehensive afterschool programs and an additional 1% to fund evidence-based summer enrichment programs, to create expanded learning opportunities that address students’ academic and personal needs, ensure families can continue to engage in and support their students’ learning, and ultimately continue to strengthen schools and communities during COVID-19 recovery.

This funding opportunity seeks to accelerate student learning and strengthen student engagement in that learning by:

  • Providing students with comprehensive out-of-school time programs, including after school and during the summer, that build upon a student’s school-day instruction to provide the continuity necessary to meet their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Providing students a safe and healthy environment where additional educational enrichment services, programs, and activities are offered to students, particularly those who are disproportionately adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Offering families of students served opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education, to ultimately positively impact student academic outcomes.
  • Providing students and their families with a deeper connection to their school and community, allowing them to understand and take advantage of the full breadth of school and community supports and opportunities available to them.

The following are projected outcomes of this funding opportunity:

  • Expanded capacity for districts and community-based organizations to leverage after school and summer programming to accelerate the completion of lost or unfinished learning; and
  • Strengthened student engagement in learning–both in the traditional school day and out.

Allowable Use of Funds and information about Priority Considerations can be found on the URL for Full Text, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 204137

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Eligible applicants are invited to submit applications that meet the needs of their program(s) with a maximum of $2 million per application and a maximum of $2,000 per student served annually.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible entities may apply for this funding opportunity. The term “eligible entity” means:
A public local educational provider (LEP) including:
- A school district on behalf of all or a subset of schools;
- A Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES);
- A charter school authorized by a School District or BOCES;
- A charter school or schools authorized by the Charter School Institute;
- A Facility School; and
- The Colorado School for the Deaf & Blind.

A public library;
A Colorado community-based organization (CBO);
- This includes nonprofit organizations.

An Indian tribe or tribal organization (as such terms are defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)); and

Institutions of higher education or other public agencies/entities.

Note: A group of two or more such agencies, organizations, or entities (listed above) is eligible to apply as a consortium.

Applications will not be accepted from individual non-charter schools. Those schools must be included in an application submitted by their district. Only a single application per LEP will be accepted.

Charter schools may submit a stand-alone application but must receive sign-off from their authorizer. The authorizing district, BOCES, or CSI will be the fiscal agent, if funded.

Examples of unallowable activities/costs include, but are not limited to:
- Pre-award costs (those incurred before the grant effective date- indicated on the Grant Award Letter- including preparation of the initial grant application);
- Services that duplicate or supplant those provided by the Colorado Talking Book Library;
- Non-academic/entertainment programming;
- Food for staff; and
- The purchase or rehabilitation of real estate or other real property.

Pre-Application Information:

The application window closes Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 11:59 pm MDT.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Applicants will be notified of final award status no later than Thursday, September 1, 2022, at 11:59 pm MDT.

Note: This is a competitive process – applicants must score at least 70 points out of the 100 possible points to be approved for funding. Additional points are awarded for prioritized high-need districts, schools, and student populations. Applications that score below 70 points may be asked to submit revisions that would bring the application up to a fundable level. There is no guarantee that submitting an application will result in funding or funding at the requested level. All award decisions are final. Applicants that do not meet the qualifications may reapply for future grant opportunities.

The Office of ESEA will be hosting bi-weekly Office Hours on Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:30pm. This time is devoted to providing updates and answering questions, to the best of our abilities given the fast-changing current events. During the ELO application window, a portion of the weekly office hours will be devoted to the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) grant program. Register here to attend the ESEA Office Hours.
- Register at

An application webinar was held on Monday, May 9th, at 3:00 pm

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

If you have any questions regarding allowable expenses, please reach out to Evan Davis ( for assistance.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado

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