The Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal and Bloomington Public Schools District 87 announces the five-year renewal of a grant originally awarded on December 2, 2014 by the Illinois State Board of Education which will continue to fund a 21st Century Community Learning Center at Bloomington Junior High School. The grant will allow the Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, in partnership with the local Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal and partnering school District 87, to serve 100 students with on-site programming administered by the staff and volunteers of the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, a key component of the No Child Left Behind Act, funded by the federal Department of Education, is an opportunity for students and their families to continue to learn new skills and discover new abilities after the school day has ended. The Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal will apply its nationally-tested Boys & Girls Clubs afterschool youth development program designed for the after-school environment, with overall goals of increasing student achievement, providing mentoring and life skill development and expanding learning opportunities.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Boys & Girls Club through this grant. Many of our students benefit from the additional services provided through this program,” said District 87 Superintendent, Dr. Barry Reilly. “As our community needs grow, this partnership becomes even more crucial to wrap around our students and families. We look forward to continuing our work together to help our students succeed!”
The 21st CCLC Program supports extended learning and academic improvement opportunities that bridge achievement gaps and are aimed to help students in high-poverty, under-performing schools meet state and local performance standards in core subjects, such as reading and math. The program also offers a variety of services to students and their parents/caregivers to promote social-emotional and character development; drug and violence prevention; cultural enrichment, art and recreation programs; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs and technology education. Family events and literacy and related educational services for parents and caregivers to better engage families in school activities is also provided.
“The program has provided proven results in the past five years and across the state, and our Club is looking forward to continuing to bring these opportunities to more youth in our community to learn and develop critical life skills through this exciting program,” said Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal CEO, Tony Morstatter. “The continuation of this program will allow us the ability to continue to strengthen our partnership, standing shoulder to shoulder with District 87 to create great futures for the youth in our community.”
The renewal of this 2015 grant depended upon sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period. Boys & Girls Club took part in an initial collaborative planning process with school and district staff examining the academic, developmental and cultural gaps of the school’s youth. Programs at Bloomington Junior High School are anticipated to grow through the next five years. For more information, please contact Tony Morstatter, Club CEO at 309-829-3034, District Superintendent, Dr. Barry Reilly at 309-827-6031 or Bryan Soady, Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Director, at 217-527-8800.