The Montana Office of Public Instruction has announced that 46 Montana communities will share in a $200,000 Graduation Matters Montana grant.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said the grants provide the building blocks for Graduation Matters Montana communities by supporting things like middle-to-high-school transition programs, peer mentoring programs, job shadow opportunities, and college readiness programs.

"These challenge grants are the result of a partnership between the Office of Public Instruction, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, AT&T and State farm," Juneau said. "It's because of the public-private partnerships that we're able to build the infrastructure around the state on Graduation Matters."

Juneau said the grants will help to fund activities that will encourage high school students throughout the state to graduate.

"These Graduation Matters communities will be engaged in things like middle to high school transition programs, peer mentoring programs, job shadow opportunities, and college readiness programs,," she said.

According to an OPI news release;

2016 Graduation Matters Montana Challenge Fund Grantees include:

Anaconda: $6,000, Arlee: $4,000, Belgrade: $4,500, Billings (United Way of Yellowstone County): $6,500, Box Elder: $3,000, Brockton: $2,500, Browning: $6,500, Helena (Capital High School): $3,500, Cascade: $2,500, Colstrip: $2,500, Columbia Falls: $6,000, Crow Agency: $2,500, Miles City (Custer County High School): $5,000, Cut Bank: $2,000, Drummond: $2,500, Florence-Carlton: $3,000, Frazer: $5,000, Great Falls (United Way of Cascade County): $8,500, Gallatin County (Great Gallatin United Way): $5,000, Hamilton: $5,000, Hardin (High School): $5,250, Heart Butte: $2,500, Hot Springs: $2,500, Boulder (Jefferson High School): $4,200, Kalispell: $5,000, Lame Deer: $2,500, Laurel: $6,000, Libby: $6,000, Lincoln: $1,750, Livingston (Park High School): $8,800, Lockwood: $3,500, Missoula: $2,500, Plains: $4,000, Polson: $6,500, Poplar: $3,500, Rocky Boy: $4,500, Ronan: $6,000, Sidney: $4,000, St. Ignatius: $6,500, St. Regis: $2,500, Stevensville: $7,000, Thompson Falls: $5,000, Three Forks: $2,500, Townsend (Broadwater High School): $4,000, Troy: $3,500, Wolf Point: $4,000.

Juneau said it is cooperative efforts like the grant announced in Helena on Tuesday that help the state enjoy a graduation rate of 86 percent, the highest ever recorded.

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