A total of 10 school districts and community organizations will receive $3.9 million a year for five years to give students academic help when school isn’t in session.
The money, awarded through a federal grant, will be used to create 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Each center offers academic and enrichment opportunities in high-needs neighborhoods before or after school or during holidays, weekends or summer recess.
“This will be a great opportunity for students in high-needs neighborhoods,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “It will give them a place to go to get help so they don’t fall behind in school.”
A 21st Century Community Learning Center helps students meet state and local academic achievement standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics, by providing the students with opportunities for academic enrichment. It also provides students with a broad array of other activities — such as counseling, art, music, recreation, technology and character education. In addition to serving students, the centers serve the families of those students by providing literacy and related educational development opportunities.
The 10 awarded centers were selected from a pool of about 40 applicants. Each awarded center must provide extensive data to the federal government about the impact of the program.
Funding for the grant comes from Title IV, Part B, of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.