State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi recently announced the award of $2.6 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants to 13 recipients for a five-year period beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
“Students served through our 21st Century Community Learning Centers gain additional learning opportunities and resources outside of the normal school day,” said Superintendent Barresi. “These centers are of particular importance for those students who are at highest risk because of poverty or other social factors. The providers offer these students help in reading, math, science, history and other subjects of vital importance as they prepare for the rigors of college, career and citizenship. Research is clear that such additional learning opportunities provide a real solution linked with closing the achievement gap and that afterschool activities yield positive results for youths.”
The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Center program is to provide learning opportunities and enrichment activities that will complement the regular academic program of K-12 students. The program is authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The program’s specific purpose is to offer assistance to students in meeting state and local academic performance standards, including tutorial services, particularly for students in high poverty areas and low-performing schools. It offers opportunities for literacy training and related education development for families of students and help for working parents by providing a safe environment for students when school is not in session. The learning centers also offer additional services such as youth development; drug and violence prevention; counseling; art, music, technology and service learning; as well as character, physical and wellness education.
There were 71 grant applicants in Oklahoma this year and 13 grants awarded, bringing the total number of grantees in the state to 60. Fifty readers reviewed the grant applications.
Sonia Johnson, State Director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers, said this is the most grant applications the State Department of Education has received in recent years, indicating the need and the community value in the program.
Grants are based on the number of students served.
School districts awarded grants this year and the amounts awarded are:
Fort Cobb – Broxton, $280,036
Santa Fe South ES (Charter), $154,946
Shady Point, $103,222
T.O.U.C.H Tulsa, $211,272