Midwest Regional ESC Receives Three 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants

The Midwest Regional ESC announced that three new 21st Century Community Learning Center grants have been awarded to schools in our area; Bellefontaine Middle School, Upper Scioto Valley Elementary and Sidney-Shelby County Opportunity School.

The total number of current grants is 5 located in Shelby, Logan, and Hardin counties.

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, and internships. 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 is looking forward to assisting other local districts in facilitating new grants as well as continuing programs during the 2021-2022 school year. Please contact Sybil Truster for additional 21st Community Learning Center Grant opportunities.

Under Title IV, Part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 21st CCLC are defined as centers that provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services to help students meet the challenging state academic standards. The centers also offer a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities in such areas as the following: youth development activities; service learning, nutrition and health education; drug and violence prevention; counseling; arts, music, physical fitness and wellness education; technology education; financial literacy; environmental literacy; and mathematics, science, career and technical programs. The centers also provide internship or apprenticeship programs and other ties to an in-demand industry sector or occupation for high school students that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students and their adult family members when school is not in session.

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 and increased maturity. The program’s safe, supportive environment helped students to gain confidence, leadership skills and increased engagement. Students 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.