21st Century Community Learning
The Virginia Department of Education is awarding 25 new grants to fund 21st Century Community Learning Centers in communities across the commonwealth. The grants range from $50,000 to $200,000 and will allow school divisions, faith-based organizations, and community groups to provide tutoring, enrichment, and counseling programs for students and families in high-poverty neighborhoods and low-performing schools. The department also is continuing funding of 31 community-learning programs that received initial grants in April 2003. The centers will operate before and after school, during school breaks, and during summer vacation.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The program provides funding for community learning centers that offer academic enrichment and tutoring to help students meet academic standards in core subjects such as reading and mathematics. Funded centers also provide drug and violence prevention programs, counseling, fine arts, technology, character education programs, and family literacy services.
Community learning centers reinforce and support classroom learning and can make a significant difference in the lives of children and families, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jo Lynne DeMary.
Applicants were encouraged to consult with parents, community groups, businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and other youth development agencies to develop successful applications and programs. The recipients for 2003-2004 funds include (school divisions indicated by an asterisk will receive multiple awards):
Additional information about the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is available on the department website at www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/OCP/21stCentury.html. Details about the next competition for 21st Century Community Learning Center funds will be announced in May.