Federal grants have been approved for five more cities to join a program that supplies extra education help to students and their parents.
Iowa Department of Education spokesperson Elaine Watkins-Miller says the grants will help create "21st Century Community Learning Centers."
The centers provide before and after school education, particularly in high poverty areas. She says "before and after" includes holidays, weekends and summer recess, where students can participate in a variety of academic and enrichment activities. It also provides offers literacy and other educational services to the families of the children.
The grants were approved for the Stom Lake, Davenport, Perry and Des Moines school districts, and the Siouxland Human Investment Partnership.
Watkins-Miller says the five new grants will fund 13 new centers in those communities. "Last year the program funded at total of 39 centers across the state and served approximately 3300 Iowa children, " Watkins-Miller says, "so that has increased to now 53 centers, and we’re serving approximately 5216 Iowa children through this grant and the program."
Over 2800 parents of those children are expected to be served this year as well.
The goal of the centers is to help keep kids from forgetting the things they learned during the school year. Watkins-Miller says the centers help the students meet state and local learning standards in core areas such as reading and math.
Storm Lake Community School District received a $146,813 grant for one site; Davenport Community School District received a $404,956 grant for four sites; Perry Community School District received $150,000 for one site; Des Moines Community School District received $600,000 for four sites; and Siouxland Human Investment Partnership received $414,842 for three sites.