Operation Shoestring in Jackson announced Monday it received a $225,000 grant to help create a statewide afterschool network in Mississippi.

The three-year grant comes from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

“Afterschool programs not only help kids do better in school and stay on the path to graduation – they also provide an important opportunity for bringing school and community together in partnership to ensure our children’s success,” said Robert Langford, executive director of Operation Shoestring. “We are honored to help lead and strengthen such efforts in our state.”

The funds will be used to create a statewide network to support afterschool programs.

During the three years, the network will “(1) identify and map out-of-school-time programs in Mississippi; (2) establish a representative and durable structure of governance for the network; and (3) develop quality standards to advance out-of-school time programs in the state,” the press release stated.

The Mott Foundation is a private philanthropy that supports projects in four areas: civil society, education, environment and Flint, Mich. area.

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.