The Midwest Regional Educational Service announced this week that three new 21st Century Community Learning Center grants have been awarded to several new schools in the area: Bellefontaine Middle School, Upper Scioto Valley Elementary and Sidney-Shelby County Opportunity School.
Currently, a total of five grants serve the Shelby, Logan, and Hardin county region.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center grants are competitive federal grants that provide schools with funding to support before/after/and summer programs.
Educational opportunities include academic and homework assistance; a broad array of youth development activities; service learning, nutrition and health education; drug and violence prevention; counseling; arts, music, physical fitness and wellness.
High school programming features career readiness via mentors, job shadowing, internships and apprenticeship programs and other ties to in-demand industry sector or occupation.
Families are a key component of the grant. Grant activities provide opportunities for active and meaningful engagement with parents in their child’s education.
The Midwest Regional ESC reports that many grantees saw improvements in the area of student academic achievement. They observed learning gains and improved academic achievement among students in the program, as well as improved homework and assignment completion for struggling students.
Additionally, it was reported that students benefited from the alternative learning modalities which reinforced concepts learned in the classroom. Students demonstrated personal growth, increased maturity and gained confidence and leadership skills, officials said.
Participants also improved social-emotional skills, leading to more positive interactions and fewer behavior problems. A variety of engaging programming activities offered students with many opportunities they would not have the means to access. This exposure allowed students to explore and develop their interests, particularly in the areas of STEM, technology, and culinary arts.
The Midwest Regional ESC is looking forward to assisting other local districts in facilitating new grants as well as continuing programs during the 2021-22 school year. Contact Sybil Truster for additional 21st Community Learning Center Grant opportunities.