Close the Gap Grant Application
  • The Willard School District would like to share information about a new grant opportunity for our families from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  The “Close the Gap” program is a one-time grant for up to $1,500 for parents to use towards allowable education expenses for their K-12 public school district student(s). 

    Eligible students must be residents of Missouri and must be currently enrolled in K-12 in a Missouri public school or charter school. DESE has noted that funding will be prioritized for households where families are eligible to receive free and reduced meal benefits, but we encourage all families to apply, as funds that are left over will be dispersed to other applicants. 

    Online applications will be open until October 25, 2023 at If approved, the grant funds will be available in the parent’s Odyssey account, which is the vendor DESE is using for the application process and to disperse the funds. 

    Allowable educational services and products include: 

    • Tutoring services
    • Academic day or summer camps
    • Arts-related day or summer camps
    • Educational materials and products
    • Computer equipment
    • Internet connectivity
    • Online access for academic related learning, including subscriptions
    • Software to support educational activities
    • Before or after-school educational programs
    • Educational, learning, study skills services
    • Cost associated with college credit for dual credit, dual enrollment, advanced placement, international baccalaureate
    • Art enrichment - musical instrument lessons, singing lessons, and dance lessons
    • Reimbursement for allowable educational expenses dating back to July 1, 2022

    To apply, parents/guardians will create an Odyssey account and submit an application with the following information: 

    • Parent/Guardian’s Name (as reported on your 2022 Missouri State Tax Return)
    • Parent/Guardian’s SSN (as reported on your 2022 Missouri State Tax Return)
    • Current Address
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Student’s name
    • Student’s date of birth
    • Student’s public school district
    • If the system is unable to verify income level or residency through an automated process, parents/guardians will be requested to submit verification documents which include your state ID or driver’s license, 2022 Federal 1040 Tax Form, and birth certificates for all eligible children.

    If you need assistance completing the application, call our Special Services Department at 417-742-0930 and schedule an appointment for Thursday, October 19th or Monday, October 23rd.