From Montana Office of Public Instruction 

HELENA—The Montana Office of Public Instruction announced that Ronan Elementary School is one of 11 recipients of federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. The grants fund after school and summer programs. The OPI received 31 applications and awarded over $2.1 million to the 11 successful applicants this year. The grants run for five years. In total, Montana now has 29 grantees and 91 centers operating across the state.

The 11 new recipients are Ronan Elementary, Livingston Elementary, Boys and Girls Club of Yellowstone County, Boys and Girls Club of Glacier County, St. Regis k-12 Schools, Great Gallatin United Way, Eureka Elementary, Sheridan Elementary, Browning High School, MAPS Media Institute and Anaconda Schools.

“Congratulations to the new 21st Century Community Learning Center grant recipients,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said. “This year’s grantees represent diverse community partnerships which will serve the academic and extra-curricular needs of local students. I look forward to seeing strong outcomes from these programs.”

This year, there were increased expectations on program outcomes that resulted in larger grant awards than previous years. Grants were also awarded to ensure geographic diversity. Consortia models enabled smaller schools, who otherwise would not have had the capacity, to run a program.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.”

Summer learning has been a focus of Superintendent Arntzen’s Montana Learn initiative to promote math and literacy achievement while closing achievement gaps. The OPI has made online summer math and reading resources available to students, families, and organizations through its website: http://opi.mt.gov/Families-Students/Summer-Learning-Challenges.

For more information on the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, visit the OPI’s website: http://opi.mt.gov/Leadership/Academic-Success/After-School-Programs.

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