Chamber Ribbon Cutting for New 21st Century Learning Center Program at Bloomington Junior High School
(Bloomington, IL) – Tuesday, March 17th at 4 p.m. the McLean County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting at Bloomington Junior High School in recognition of the Boys & Girls Club’s new location. The program began February 23, 2015 with a goal of serving more than 100 students each day after school; currently the program is serving approximately 40 children daily, with tutoring, high yield learning activities and a healthy meal for all members.
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 Clubs 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. District Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly noted the benefits this program will bring to local students, “District 87 and Bloomington Junior High School are very excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal using the 21st Century grant to provide additional help and resources to our students & families. This comes at a time when resources are declining making it very difficult for our schools to offer additional resources that our students need to be successful. This partnership with the Boys & Girls Club will allow our students, staff and families additional time beyond the school day to improve the academic, health & social well-being of our students.”
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 will also be provided. Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal CEO Grant Anderson, noted that “the program has provided proven results across the state, and our Club is looking forward to bringing new opportunities for more youth in our community to learn and develop critical life skills through this exciting program. This new site has allowed us to open our member waitlist and will double the number of youth we are able to impact every day after-school.”
The 2015 grant can be renewed for four years, but subsequent fiscal years depend upon a sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period. The Boys & Girls Club took part in a 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 begin in 2015. For more information, please contact Grant Anderson, Club CEO at 309-829-3034, District Superintendent, Dr. Barry Reilly at 309-827-6031 or Kristin Allen, Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Director, at 217-527-8800.