Marian University receives $500,000 grant to expand City Connects into Muncie Community Schools

by News Release | Nov 22, 2023

Marian University has been awarded a $500,000 grant over three years to expand the City Connects practice in Muncie Community Schools. 

The grant is one of 14 totaling $9.63 million awarded by the $200 million Indiana University Health Community Impact Investment Fund. The fund, administered by the IU Health Foundation, seeks to improve the lives of Hoosiers in need by addressing critical social and environmental factors that impact people’s health outcomes.

“Students should be able to focus on learning at school,” said City Connects Midwest Director Jillian Lain, MA. “Unfortunately, we know many are dealing with a lot outside the classroom. Whether they’re worried about their parent’s divorce, where their next meal will come from or something else entirely, City Connects supports students and their families by connecting them with resources.”

By expanding City Connects, Marian University will help K-12 children in Muncie Community Schools overcome social, emotional, health, or psychological barriers to learning with help from an on-site coordinator working with teachers and families to address out-of-school factors that limit student learning. 

“Since implementing City Connects in 2021, we have seen incredible results with our students,” said Muncie Community Schools Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Ed.D. “We are very grateful for our partnership with Marian University and all the support they provide our students and teachers.” 

The Marian University Center for Vibrant Schools is home to the City Connects Midwest Technical Assistance Center, which has served more than 26,000 students in City Connects schools throughout Indiana and Ohio since 2021. City Connects is currently being implemented in East Washington Academy, Grissom Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School, Northside Middle School, Southside Middle School, and South View Elementary School.

IU Health established the $200 million Community Impact Investment (CII) Fund in 2018. Administered by the IU Health Foundation, the CII Fund will support non-profit organizations in addressing the social determinants of health in our communities and help achieve IU Health’s goal of making Indiana one of the healthiest states in the nation.  

To learn more about City Connects at Marian University, visit



News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
Stokley Mansion, Room #1

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