ALTON — The Illinois State Board of Education has announced that the Alton School District will receive a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant.
Over the five-year grant period, the district will receive approximately $1.2 million with a first-year award of $258,000. The 21st Century Program is designed to provide students with before/after school and summer tutoring and enrichment services students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grades.
“Before and after-school programs through 21st Century Community Learning Center grants provide students with a wide assortment of activities, services and resources that reinforce and complement what they’re learning in the classroom and help families connect with their children’s education,” State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch said.
The district submitted an application through a competitive selection process supported by ISBE with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Alton is one of 87 grant recipients across the state comprised of both school districts and nonprofit organizations.
As planned, the district will establish two after-school program sites for K-8 students. Students will receive free tutoring and participate in cultural and scientific enrichment activities each day. The program is instructed by certified teachers within the district. Students then are transported home after the program concludes each afternoon. Additionally, district schools will also host a four-week summer school program utilizing the grant funds.
“Through this grant award, our students will have extended learning opportunities resulting in increased achievement,” said Kristie Baumgartner, Alton’s assistant superintendent and grant writer. “In this financial climate, extended instructional time for students is a rare commodity due to the increased cost. However, this grant now makes that additional time very feasible.”
Math and reading support will be the targeted focus within the academic portion of Alton’s after-school program. Community partners will also assist in delivering the program’s scientific and cultural enrichment components that follow tutoring and academic assistance each day. All district programs are scheduled to begin in mid-January.