Elementary students at a school in Merrill are benefiting from after school activities thanks to a federal grant.
Jefferson Elementary in Merrill was one of 51 schools sharing in just over $4 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. As a first cycle recipient, the school received $100,000.
The 21st Century CLC grant program is designed to improve student achievement, attendance, and behaviors by providing enriching activities for youth during out-of-school hours. In addition to academic support, 21st Century Community Learning Centers also provide adult family member activities that promote family engagement in their children’s education as well as adult learning and parental skill building.
State superintendent Tony Evers says, “Educational and enrichment activities in 21st Century Community Learning Centers extend the school day, helping students retain more of what they learn.”
Selected through a competitive grant process, the 51 funded sites were among a pool of 113 that requested grant funds. According to the 2010-11 school year data, nearly 50,000 students statewide each received about 14 hours of service per week. Of those served, 72 percent demonstrated significant improvement in academic achievement in mathematics, reading, or both.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Schools identified for improvement under federal education laws received priority for grant awards. Continued funding for the 21st Century CLC grants is dependent on the federal budget.