HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett today announced that $23.1 million in funding has been awarded to 64 school districts and community-based organizations in 29 counties across the state. This funding will support educational resources in local communities to increase student academic achievement – a cornerstone of what the Governor believes will ensure students are prepared for postsecondary success.
Through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, the organizations will use these funds to establish or expand community learning centers to provide students, who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools, with additional high-quality academic opportunities.
"These grants will provide educational opportunities that are focused on complementing, supplementing and enhancing the work being done in the classroom by teachers and students," Corbett said. "We know that at-risk students need additional educational resources to be academically successful and this funding will support these efforts."
As a requirement of the grant, awardees must offer students a variety of enrichment opportunities that they might not receive at school or at home. Grantees are permitted to provide cultural, social or artistic activities to students, and services to their families.
The 64 grantees represent eight geographical areas of Pennsylvania and include 14 community-based organizations, 21 school districts, 12 charter schools, five intermediate units, three faith-based organizations, six nationally affiliated service organizations, and three institutions of higher education.
A total of 117 grant applications were received by the Department of Education.
Out of concern for at-risk students who are considering dropping out of school, in 2011, First Lady Susan Corbett launched the Opening Doors initiative, which focuses on increasing the state's graduation rate – 86 percent as of the 2012-13 school year – and opening the doors of educational opportunity to Pennsylvania students.
Under Mrs. Corbett's leadership, the Department of Education created an Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog that will help identify at-risk students and match them with school- and community-based resources to address issues that are causing them to disengage from the learning process.
After piloting the Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog in the 2013-14 school year, Mrs. Corbett recently announced that 35 schools across the state are implementing the system this year.
Research shows that students who are at risk of prematurely ending their education exhibit the ABC's of dropping out: attendance, behavior and course performance.
Students who do not graduate face personal economic hardship and impose a significant cost on their communities and society. A high school dropout will earn $1 million less than a college graduate throughout their lifetime and can cost the public sector more than $200,000 per year through the corrections system and the use of public assistance.
Without intervention, students who demonstrate one or more of the drop-out indicators have a 20 percent chance of graduating on time. If these students are identified and matched with appropriate interventions, their odds of graduating increase tremendously.
"It is important for all of us to focus on early identification of students who exhibit signs of disengaging from school and connecting them to interventions that will keep them on track to graduate," Mrs. Corbett said. "The Twenty-First Century Community Learning Centers grant program and the Early Warning System and Intervention Catalog provide schools with the resources to keep students in school and engaged in learning. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all Pennsylvania students earn a high school diploma and graduate college- and career-ready."
More information about the First Lady's Opening Doors initiative can be obtained by visiting www.pa.gov/firstlady.
For details about the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, visit the Department of Education's website at www.education.state.pa.us and enter "21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant" in the "PDE Search" function.
Media contact: Tim Eller, 717-783-9802
Editor's Note: Below is the list of grant recipients and three-year award amount:
Lincoln Intermediate Unit # 12, $400,000
Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, $194,099
McKeesport Area School District, $375,000
Penn Hills School District, $300,000
Pittsburgh School District, $399,635
The Consortium for Public Education, $398,308
Youth Places, $400,000
Bedford Area School District, $400,000
Everett School District, $400,000
Reading School District, $400,000
YMCA Twin Tiers Bradford, $386,429
Lower Bucks Family YMCA, $400,000
Mount Union School District, $379,194
Respective Solutions Group Inc., $400,000
Lehigh Carbon Community College, $400,000 (also serves Lehigh County)
Chester County Intermediate Unit # 24, Chester County, $300,000
Berwick Area School District, Columbia County, $132,000
Harrisburg City School District, Dauphin County, $400,000
RSVP of the Capitol Region, $210,000 (also serves Perry County)
Chester Community Charter School, Delaware County, $400,000
Southeast Delco School District, Delaware County, $327,136
Erie School District, Erie County, $400,000
Mercyhurst University, Erie County, $399,000
United School District, $400,000
Northeastern Intermediate Unit # 19, $397,050 (also serves Susquehanna County)
La Academia Charter School, $262,500
Lancaster School District, $400,000
New Castle Area School District, $390,000
Lebanon School District, $400,000
Allentown City School District, $399,000
Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School, $225,000
Roberto Clemente Charter School, $400,000
Norristown Area School District, $399,000
Pottstown School District, $400,000
Shikellamy School District, $399,673
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit # 16, $400,000 (also serves Union County)
After School All Starts Philadelphia, $325,550
Boys Latin Club of Philadelphia, $400,000
Church of St. Andrew and St. Monica, $399,100
Congreso de Latinos Unidos, $400,000
Drexel University, $305,775
Education Works, $400,000
Episcopal Community Services, $195,000
Freire Charter School, $400,000
Independence Charter School, $210,000
Lutheran Children and Family Services, $306,338
Maritime Academy Charter School, $400,000
Netter Center for Community Partnerships, $399,672
Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association of Philadelphia, $52,499
Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, $400,000
Philadelphia Electrical and Technical Charter School, $400,000
Public Health Management Corp., $400,000
Sunrise of Philadelphia, $360,000
The Salvation Army, $386,004
To Our Children's Future with Health, $360,000
Truebright Science Academy Charter School, $400,000
Universal Daroff Charter School, $400,000
Young Scholars Frederick Douglas Charter School, $381,400
Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, $399,958
Titusville YMCA, $400,000
Warren County School District, $399,000
Jeanette City School District, $400,000
Private Industry Council, $389,630 (also service Fayette County)
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor