Rendell okays $5 million for after-school

| 29 Sep 2011 | 07:56

    HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania is investing $5 million to make sure thousands of children are safe and cared for at the end of the school day and two regional school are sharing in the funding. The money, “21st Century Community Learning Center” grants, will help community-learning centers provide additional academic and life-skills development instruction to children and youth when they are not in school. The Pocono/Slate Belt Youth for Christ program of Stroudsburg won $192,037 and the Wayne Highlands School District of Honesdale was funded at $367,132. Gov. Ed Rendell said 5,600 hundred students in 26 school districts and organizations will have access to improved after-school opportunities as a result of the investment. “This is an investment in children who need a safe place to go once the school day ends,” Rendell said. “Instead of hanging out on the corner, students will be able to make friends, improve their academics and just have fun.” In addition to providing tutors and other academic support activities, the federally funded and administered grants provide drug and violence prevention and technology education programs, music, counseling and character education. “The 21st Century Learning Centers provide enormous support to our children and their families,” said acting Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak. “It is a very popular program. We received 116 applications seeking nearly $130 million in funding this year.” Grants are awarded based on the number of services a learning center provides, the number of students participating, and the special needs of the targeted student population. Organizations eligible for CCLC funding are schools and school districts, community-based organizations, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, family centers, higher education institutions, for-profit corporations and consortia of two or more organizations.