Federal funding restored for after-school program at five local schools

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

Alachua County Public Schools will once again be able to offer the 21st Century after school programs at five area schools, beginning January 19.

The district was informed before the school year began that 21st Century Community Learning Center grants would no longer be available for after-school programs at Metcalfe, Lake Forest, Idylwild, Alachua, and Irby elementary schools. The 21st Century program had been in place for all five schools since 2015. However, funding for those schools has now been renewed.

“This is very good news,” said Everett Caudle, the Director of Grants, Acquisitions and Special Projects for Alachua County Public Schools. “It means that another 238 students in our district will now have access to quality after-school programming.”

The 21st Century grant funds after-school instruction, tutoring, homework help, recreational, and other enrichment opportunities in schools that serve a large number of high needs students. Programs are available Mondays through Thursdays from the time school is dismissed until 5:45. Afternoon snacks and suppers are provided. 

The grant also funds summer programs to help reduce the academic ‘slide’ that many children experience when school is out and to provide a safe place for those children.

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The renewed grant will fund after school and summer programming through the summer of 2022.

The schools will be reaching out to their families to offer them a spot in the program. Families can also contact their school if they’re interested in enrolling their child.

Three other local schools have after 21st Century after-school programs. They are Lincoln and Westwood middle schools and Foster Elementary School. They are on a different grant cycle and will be up for renewal following the summer of 2021.