More than 300 communities in the U.S. have applied for federal funding to help children in at risk neighborhoods.
The U.S. Department of Education's "Promise Neighborhoods" program will award grants to 20 groups, including faith-based organizations.
Their goal is to help children in troubled neighborhoods through a range of health, academic and career programs.
It's modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, where programs assisting children and their families led to academic improvement.
The one-year grants range from $400,000 to $500,000. Nearly 340 applications have been received.
An additional $210 million for implementation and planning grants are included in President Barack Obama's 2011 budget.
"The response from neighborhoods around the country to this opportunity is tremendous," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. "Promise Neighborhoods brings all of the Department's strategies together - high-quality early learning programs, high-quality schools, and comprehensive supports - to ensure that students in some of our most challenged communities are safe, healthy and successful."