Funding and Implementation
Bring FAST® to your community.
Launching a prevention and early intervention program like FAST can seem daunting. You’re wondering where to begin, what resources you’ll need, and how to run the program correctly and efficiently. We have reassuring news for you:
We are here to help.
Families & Schools Together can help you build a FAST Program that’s scientifically proven to help children, families, and communities thrive.
Our program staff is dedicated to helping you with every aspect of launching and running FAST – from budget projections and logistical advice to recommendations for building the FAST Team and introducing FAST to community and school leaders. In addition, Families & Schools Together will provide you with training, educational materials, and supplies.
As a principal, teacher, social worker, community or district leader, you may be seeking funding to bring FAST® to your school and to build long-term and effective family engagement programming to your community. Based on decades of experience working with local schools, districts and community organizations, Families & Schools Together created a resource guide to help you research and secure funding for your non-profit or school.
The FAST Funding Guide contains information about locating and securing funds from different sources including foundations and corporations, in-kind, county/municipal/school district funds, state funds, umbrella funding sources, and federal funds; funding priorities that apply to FAST including child abuse and neglect prevention, substance abuse prevention, family strengthening, health promotion, K-12 education, early childhood/early learning, child and adolescent mental health; and more. Click here to view/download the FAST Funding Guide.
It is important to remember that raising funds and securing support for FAST is all about building a network of support in your community. In fact, this network will prove powerful and effective in helping your organization, school, district and your families and children to thrive in the long-term. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need any support as you seek funding.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding
In March 2021, the U.S. government announced several billions of dollars would be made available for state-level afterschool and summer programs serving children and families during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation, in Section 2000, specifically identifies using the funds to address learning loss through implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus, especially for at-risk students.
Therefore, these grants can be used to sustain, re-launch, or expand FAST. If you decide to apply, we have prepared a packet of program information and budget details that may be helpful to you. Click here to view/download the packet. You can also learn more about how FAST is evidence-based.
These funds will be distributed to school districts across your state through a grant application process; some have already been awarded, some are due soon, and more will be coming this summer. Visit your State Education Agency’s website, which can be found here, for more information. For a comprehensive FAQ about the ARP and ESSER funding, click here.
The following steps outline the process to get FAST started in your community. Throughout this process, you will receive support from both Families & Schools Together and your FAST Trainer to ensure that you can establish a strong FAST program.
Step 1: Orientation
Once you’ve decided that FAST is the right program for your school or organization, the first step is contacting Families & Schools Together for start-up assistance. We can help you set up your program structure, budget, logistics, staffing and more.
Step 2: Build Your Team
After orientation, you will select a project coordinator from within your organization to recruit your four-to-eight person FAST Team. This group includes parents, community-based professionals, school representatives, among others. We can advise you about the professional roles, skill sets and overall make-up of your team to maximize the impact of FAST.
Step 3: Train Your Team
Your FAST Team Members participate in a comprehensive 2-day orientation conducted by a Certified FAST Trainer. Then, with their Trainer’s guidance, the team enters the program’s recruitment phase, using home visits and other positive methods to invite families to experience the welcoming, supportive environment of FAST.
Step 4: Run the FAST® Program
With recruitment complete, the FAST Team runs the FAST Cycle, with families attending one 2½ hour after-school or evening meeting per week. FAST Team Members facilitate the program’s evidence-based activities. Your Certified FAST Trainer will make 3 site visits to observe and advise team members. The FAST Cycle culminates in a celebratory graduation ceremony.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Team
Using the results of pre- and post-program surveys, your Certified FAST Trainer helps the team evaluate the outcomes they’ve achieved and understand the impact of FAST in your community. Your team will celebrate its successes as well as identify areas for improvement. In addition, you’ll be able to use the evaluation report as a tool to secure future grants and other funds to continue running FAST to impact more families in your community.