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TPS Receives $100,000 Counseling Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The Project School has received a grant of $100,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of the Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students.

The Project School is one of 52 public school corporations and five chartered public schools in Indiana selected to implement plans to help them meet the complex academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students.

The amount of the grant to The Project School was based on total school enrollment. Schools or districts with fewer than 1000 students were permitted to apply for up to $100,000. The Project School received the maximum amount available for a school of its size (278 students). The successful grant followed prior receipt of a $30,000 planning grant that was utilized in the early part of 2017 in order to develop a long-term counseling strategic plan.

The Project School will utilize the Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to implement a counseling program based on the American School Counselor Associates (ASCA) National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs. This model supports the school's overall mission by promoting academic achievement, career planning, and personal/social development. In addition, the ASCA National Model has themes of social justice, advocacy, and systemic change infused throughout, as comprehensive school counseling programs are designed to remove barriers to student success and to help students reach their full potential. These themes are in strong alignment with the overall mission, vision, values and goals of The Project School.

Catherine Diersing, Leader of The Project School, shared her thoughts on the impact the Lilly Endowment Inc. grant dollars will have on the future of the school’s students. “As a small, independent chartered public school, we unfortunately have limited resources to fully implement our vision for beneficial and long-lasting counseling supports for our students. This Lilly Endowment grant will move mountains as we continue to develop wrap-around services for students in crisis. This grant will also allow us to provide innovative and comprehensive programs and supports for our students well before they are in crisis, so that we can enable our entire student body to thrive as learners and as life-long contributors to the strengthening of community.”

Through the Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students, the Endowment has made a total of $26.4 million in implementation grants and $9.1 million in planning grants to help public school corporations and chartered public schools across Indiana improve strategies for school counseling. During the competitive implementation grant phase of the initiative, 254 public school corporations and chartered public schools submitted implementation proposals totaling nearly $90 million.

“The response from school corporations and charters far exceeded the Endowment’s expectations,” said Sara B. Cobb, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We believe that this response indicates a growing awareness that enhanced and expanded counseling programs are urgently needed to address the academic, college, career and social and emotional counseling needs of Indiana’s K-12 students. We were most pleased to see how the schools engaged a wide variety of community stakeholders in assessing their students’ counseling needs and developing strategies to address them.”

Learn more about the Lilly Endowment Counseling Grant Initiative HERE.


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.


About The Project School

The Project School is a locally developed and implemented chartered public school in Bloomington, Indiana, serving 278 children kindergarten through eighth grade. Now in its ninth year impacting the community, The Project School focuses on whole-child, inclusive, interdisciplinary, project-based education, through the lens of educational equity, social justice and environmental sustainability. Learn more about The Project School at