The Bureau Henry Stark Regional Office of Education has been awarded two (2) new federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants to provide extended day and extended year programming for over 500 area students. Schools that will benefit from these new grants include Alwood Elementary, Alwood Middle and High, Bradford Elementary, Bradford Jr. High, Cambridge Elementary, Cambridge Jr. High and High, Kewanee Belle Alexander, Neponset Grade School, LaMoille Van Orin, Ohio Grade School, and Ohio High School.
The 21st CCLC grant program supports extended learning and academic improvement opportunities that bridge achievement gaps and are aimed to help students in high-poverty, low-performing schools meet state and local performance standards in core subjects, such as reading and math. The programs offer a variety of services to students and their parents/caregivers to promote social-emotional development and cultural enrichment, including drug and violence prevention lesson, counseling, art, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, music and recreation classes, technology education and character education. Programs will also offer family events and provide literacy and related educational service for parents and caregivers to better engage families in school activities. All activities will allow students to spend more time in a learning environment and will occur during non-school hours (before or after school) or periods when school is not in session.
These two most recent grant awards provide a total of $1,034,444.00 in the first year of the five-year grant. Grant funds will allow for the creation of eight full-time site coordinator positions, as well as teaching, paraprofessional and other support positions that will be created as the programs at each school are established.
Angie Zarvell, Regional Superintendent of Schools, stated, “The Regional Office of Education has a long history of providing successful, high-quality academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families. We look forward to continuing this tradition in partnership with these schools and their community partners.”
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) received 142 proposals, requesting more than $53 million. Eighty-seven 21st CCLC grants on behalf of 300 schools and entities were awarded based on criteria including the need for the project, adequacy of resources, plan for sustainability and cost effectiveness. Each application was read and scored by three peer reviewers and three ISBE staff members then reviewed those scores.
The 2015 grantees can be renewed for four years, but subsequent fiscal years depend upon a sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period. The award amount per site ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.
ISBE has outlined seven performance objectives for grant programs to use to gauge whether they are meeting the state’s minimum requirements for encouraging student success. These are: student
Involvement in school activities, student achievement, positive behavioral changes in students, community benefits, expanded learning opportunities, professional development opportunities for program personnel, and efficient and effective use of funds.
For more information on the services provided by the ROE, please contact Regional Superintendent, Angie Zarvell at 309.936.7890.