CHADDS FORD—Senator Tom Killion (Chester and Delaware counties) announced that more than $2 million in grants have been awarded by the and Delaware counties to provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children.

“Providing children additional opportunities to improve their math and reading skills, particularly in disadvantaged communities, can make a remarkable difference in the lives of young people,” noted Killion. “It is also an investment in Pennsylvania’s future workforce.”

Mary D. Lang, Bancroft, New Garden Elementary and Greenwood Elementary schools received $150,000 in funding. Kennett Middle and Kennett High schools got $400,000 in funding.

The competitive grants were awarded in the latest round of the 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative of PDE. They support the creation of community learning centers which provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low performing Title I schools.

Said state Sen. Andy Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee: “Learning doesn’t stop when the school day ends and these programs help continue to inspire and encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their interests and find what sparks their curiosity and passion to learn. And they’re also a great way to bring families and communities into the school environment as an integral part of the learning, development, and growth of the next generation of leaders.”

The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, math and science; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

“Twenty-first Century Learning Center grants provide critical investments for communities to expand educational opportunities for students and families,” Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “This year’s recipients were selected with an emphasis on improving educational equity and expanding the geographic reach of Pennsylvania’s programs. As a result more students across the state will have access to wellness, literacy, and career and technical education programs, among others.

Killion reiterated the importance of these grants.

“In addition to skills and opportunities, these schools provide hope to the students and families,” Killion said. “These resources will enable the schools to amplify their positive impact in the communities they serve, and I congratulate the awardees.

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