By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities, in partnership with the Pasco School District, was awarded a $500,000 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program grant to enhance before and after school programming at several elementary schools in Pasco.
The purpose of the federal grant is to support the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during nonschool hours. The program also provides support to families to increase family literacy and involvement within the school.
“This award is especially exciting because there were only nine grants awarded within the entire state, and this grant had one of the highest dollar amounts awarded,” said Jay Scott, director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Funds will support enhancing before and after school programming at Emerson Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School, Rowena Chess Elementary School and Virgie Robinson Elementary School, all of which are in the Pasco School District.
Some examples of topics that could be implemented in the after school programs include: drama, chess, homework help, LEGO Robotics, archery, Minecraft, field trips, fire safety, rocketry and English language learning programs. The schools also will provide a four-week summer program focusing on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“All of these programs would provide additional extracurricular and supplemental support for current classroom curriculum focuses,” Scott said.
WSU Tri-Cities will provide the space for summer programming for all four sites, in addition to providing general oversight of the programming and grant funding use and allocation.
For more information on the grant program, visit http://www.k12.wa.us/21stCenturyLearning/.