Thursday, the Clay Community School Board of Trustees unanimously gave their permission for the administration to apply for the 21st Century Scholarship competition.
"Research shows us that children who are falling behind have a difficult time catching up during the regular school day, or year," Superintendent William Schad said. "This program offers us a way to expand their school day through after school enrichment programs and summer opportunities."
The 21st Century Scholarship is a key component of the No Child Left Behind Act signed into law by President George W. Bush on Jan, 8, 2002. The program will give students and their families an opportunity to continue to learn new skills and discover new abilities after the school day has ended. Congress has supported this initiative by appropriating $1 billion for after school programs, of which more than $11 million dollars are available for dispersal in Indiana. Part of this amount will be used to continue funding grants previously awarded, leaving $5 million for new awards.
"We have the possibility of receiving $3 million dollars over three years and the option of reapplying later," Mary Yelton told the board during her presentation about the grant. "This is a great opportunity for our students and their families to learn."
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program's primary purpose is to award grants that will help to establish or expand a broad array of after school programs that provide academic and recreational enrichment opportunities.
Funding provided by the grant will help schools to meet state and local student performance standards in core academic subjects such as reading and mathematics while providing activities designed to complement the regular academic program.
Grant proposals must be postmarked on or before Wednesday, April 20, 2005 for consideration, with announcement of the awards in late May.