MOUNT GILEAD— The Ohio Department of Education announced the grantees awarded federal funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center program on Aug. 23.

The Mount Gilead Exempted Village Schools is one of the recipients of the grant. The program creates or expands community learning centers that provide academic enrichment and youth development opportunities for students.

Twenty-six new award recipients were selected from more than 145 applications across the state through a comprehensive peer review process. Priority was given to programs that serve students in rural schools.

The grant awarded to the Mount Gilead Exempted Village Schools for the upcoming school year will be $200,000 and this amount is renewable for up to five years.

The purpose of the 21st CCLC program is threefold, a news release states.

All funded programs must:

• Provide opportunities for academic enrichment to assist students in meeting the state academic standards.

• Offer students access to a broad array of additional services, such as those that focus on youth development, social-emotional learning, civic engagement and nutritional and physical health.

• Offer adult family members of program participants opportunities for educational development and engagement in their children’s education.

All programs must be implemented through a partnership that includes at least one school and one community organization with a demonstrated record of success in designing and implementing before-school, after-school, summer learning or expanded learning time activities.

The district will partner with the Galion YMCA to provide before and after school care for students at Park Avenue Elementary.

The district is working on a revamped program that will be titled “Chiefs Club”/School-Aged Child Care (SACC) program.

The 21st CCLC Federal Grant will be a great benefit to our students and families without costing our taxpayers any money while the Grant is being rewarded. The district’s goal is making the program self-sustaining when the grant is no longer awarded.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to collaborate with the Galion YMCA and work with our Park Avenue Elementary families to help ensure that our students and families have a safe before and after school care program available to them,” Mount Gilead Superintendent Dr. Zack Howard said.

“Students that participate in the program will have opportunities for intervention and enrichment as they begin their journey as early learners. I’m incredibly proud of the work done by members of our leadership — Tina Gabler, Treasurer; Emily Ross, Director Curriculum & Instruction; and Molly Clapper, Director of Student Services — and the Galion YMCA to secure this funding and partnership for our district.”

The Mount Gilead School District will be reaching out to families over the next few weeks to explain the program and allow them he opportunity to enroll in the Chiefs Club/SACCProgram slated to begin in October.

“The 21st Century Community Learning Centers are anamazing example of the great things that can happen when community organizations and schools partner together to help students learn and grow,” Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent of public instruction, said.

School, Galion YMCA to work on before, after school care

Staff Report