Federal Grants Assist Extended Learning Programs in Mass.

Jan 7, 2013

A series of federal grants aimed at supporting additional learning time have been awarded to schools and other education organizations across Massachusetts. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, or CCLC, was created in 2001 through the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. And very recently, winners in Massachusetts were announced to use award money to increase learning time, in an effort to improve student achievement.

In the Bay State, 22 school districts and partnering organizations will benefit from the K-12 grants. In total, 448 hours of additional learning time will be supported by the program in the before & after school periods, and in the summer months.

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District is using this award to expand it’s after school and summertime programming to Muddy Brook Elementary School, and Monument Valley Middle School.

Superintendent Dr. Peter Dillon said that the dollars will also help students work with several non-profit organizations in the Berkshires.

The district’s high school, Monument Mountain, has also benefited from the CCLC grant program.

In the Pioneer Valley, the Northampton-based Collaborative for Educational Services, or CES, was awarded $336,000 to expand programming in Greenfield High School and West Springfield Memorial Elementary School.

Joan Schumann is the executive director of CES. She said that the organization formerly known as the Hampshire Educational Collaborative has been developing extended learning programs with local schools through the CCLC for over ten years.

But in discussing the monetary commitments from the state and federal governments, Schumann said that she was concerned about possible cuts in the future through sequestration. Schumann said that the summer programs the CCLC grants support are important for students.

Over $5.6 million in federal dollars were awarded to institutions in Massachusetts.

In New York, the RFP for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program closed on January 4th. The original deadline was extended to January 4th due to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. The Education Department Education said over email that New York’s awards have not yet been chosen. Approximately $82 million will be made available annually to New York. The next round of grants will be available from 2013 to 2018.

Massachusetts List of Awards: http://finance1.doe.mass.edu/Grants/grants13/awards/647B1.html

Information for New York: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/21stCCLC/