Aberdeen School District Loses Funding For After-school Programs Seeks Local Support

The Aberdeen School District will not have an after school program for the upcoming 2018/2019 school year if they can’t find local support. District Superintendent Alicia Henderson told the board at their meeting on Tuesday night, “The Century 21 grant was not approved which is a huge loss for our district it’s about $500-thousand per year. But more than the money it’s a something that’s very important, you know, our students and [inaudible] but also quite frankly for our parents who have been expecting it.”

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers 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. Funding is made available by the U.S. Department of Education.

Henderson said after the meeting, “It’s competitive. The last grant cycle Aberdeen was awarded a very significant grant of $500,000 a year. It ended last June and we re-applied, and unfortunately we didn’t get it.”

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The district is reaching out to local organizations like the YMCA of Grays Harbor and the Grays Harbor Community Foundation, Henderson told the board, “We are working diligently to try to put something in place, ideally at all of our schools, that certainly will replicate the scope of the 21st Century grant.”

She said after the meeting that the district plans to notify parents soon that their afterschool program will likely not be available unless grant funding can be found. “We’re looking to find other sources, in fact; maybe…” – Maybe you know someone, contact the school district at (360) 538-2002 or email the superintendent directly; [email protected]

A press release from the district after our story ran said that the Aberdeen School District is pursuing other resources to offer before and after school programming after learning that the Century 21 grant from the U.S. Department of Education would not be awarded for 2018-2019.

“We are working diligently to try and put something in place, ideally at all of our schools,” Dr. Alicia Henderson, superintendent, told the Aberdeen School Board on Tuesday, August 7.

Dr. Henderson said schools will be sharing information with families at back-to-school events on what will be offered at each school. “We probably won’t be able to replicate the scope, but we will do our best to put something in place. We know how important this program has been to our students and families.”

The Aberdeen School District has offered before and after school programming at multiple sites over the past 10 years, primarily through a 21st Century grant awarded by the state of about $500,000 per year.

CTE Director Lynn Green, who oversees the program, said the most recent five-year grant ends in August of 2018. The grant has provided the majority of the funding for programming at Aberdeen High School, Harbor High School, Miller Junior High, and at A.J. West, Robert Gray and Stevens elementary Schools.

The U.S. Department of Education website describes the 21st Century program as one that supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low performing schools.

“Unfortunately, our application for funding for these sites in the next five-year cycle was not selected for funding in the 2018-19 school year,” Director Green said.

Using other funding sources, including the Grays Harbor Community Foundation, modified programming will be offered to a limited number of students at four of our school buildings this year. At this point, A.J. West Elementary School, Central Park Elementary School, Miller Junior High School and Aberdeen High School will be sharing information this fall with their families regarding opportunities for after school support.
Director Green concluded that “the district is committed to continuing its pursuit of resources available for programming beyond the school day and will notify parents of options as they become available.”

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