Local schools receive 21st Century Community Learning Center grants
For the City Times
MADISON — Three local schools are among 35 public and private schools across Wisconsin that will benefit from new 21st Century Community Learning Center grants awarded by the Department of Public Instruction.
The grants support programs that provide academic support and youth development activities outside of school hours. Abbotsford Elementary, Abbotsford; Alexander Middle School, Nekoosa; and Madison Elementary, Marshfield, join 97 already receiving the five-year grants.
“Students will be successful when they are provided the supports they need,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “Outside of school hours, our students with the greatest needs often don’t have access to the same supports their peers may have. We need to make sure everyone has access to supports that will allow them to make the most of their own potential.”
Demand for the competitive grants has consistently exceeded available funding. This year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction awarded $4.12 million in grants for the 35 new sites. The total number of applicants, however, was 135, requesting a total of more than $16 million.
The community learning centers improve student achievement, attendance, and behaviors by providing enriching academic activities during out-of-school hours. Activities are aligned with existing academic standards and school day learning goals.
To receive a grant, centers must serve a school with large numbers or percentages of children from low-income families; additionally, programming must serve students with a variety of academic or social and emotional needs.
Through grant funding and by engaging community partners, the centers give students access to opportunities that might not otherwise be available, such as tutoring, service learning, arts and music, education to prevent violence or drug use, financial literacy, credit recovery, apprenticeships, environmental literacy, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The centers also provide learning to adult family members to help them support their children’s education and succeed in their own lives.