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11:41 AM Tue, Sept. 25th

Lincoln, Granite Mountain schools receive $700K grants

Teresa Bruso, Granite Mountain principal, left, and Karen Hughes, Lincoln Elementary School principal. (Courtesy photo)

Teresa Bruso, Granite Mountain principal, left, and Karen Hughes, Lincoln Elementary School principal. (Courtesy photo)

The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) is proud to announce that Lincoln and Granite Mountain schools will each receive $700,000 in grant money over the next five years. Both schools were recently notified that they have been "pre-approved" to receive the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant to provide afterschool tutoring and enrichment opportunities for students.

As a result, Granite Mountain and Lincoln can now provide their students and families academic support and enrichment possibilities that every child deserves. These schools will create community learning centers to promote high-quality, standards-based learning options to support higher academic achievement for all of their students.

With over 150 applications, these two Prescott schools are honored to receive two out of 38 statewide grants awarded this year. PUSD schools are receiving over 5 percent of the state awards disbursed. The final approval from the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) will come at the end of August. Each school anticipates a start-up date for their before- and after-school programming to be around Sept. 15.

The 21st CCLC program has been designed and customized to address specific, realistic, and comprehensive targeted academic intervention and youth enrichment activities for students. These programs will use best practices in afterschool programming for elementary age students combined with current successful interventions at the school. It is designed to provide targeted interventions by identifying at-risk students and ensuring they have access to researched-based activities and strategies to address academic needs. Specific tutoring and classes will be developed based on student needs with highly qualified teachers and professionals who will deliver instruction, assess and monitor student progress to make adjustments to instruction as needed.

In addition to tutoring, academic support and intervention options, students will also have a vast array of enrichment experiences which extend student knowledge and learning of the classroom standards. Students will be able to build their knowledge of Science Technology Engineering Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) through robotics, engineering and other inquiry based enrichment clubs. In addition, students will be able to expand their knowledge and interests in writing, reading, drama, art, athletics, music and much more.

As we start the 2015-16 year, PUSD schools are blending school cultures, neighborhoods and families. The family engagement portion of these grants will allow the schools to blend all aspects of the new school communities together. It will also help ensure that support is available to students and families to reach their highest potential. The family engagement program design provides meaningful and engaging activities that families want to attend. Current school activities for families will expand to include family literacy events, English classes, math nights, parenting classes, parenting academies and seminars, as well as family homework assistance after center hours.

Community support is another vital component to the grants. Both schools will have some exciting opportunities for partnerships with local businesses and neighbors. Additionally, social/emotional growth is a need that is addressed through the youth development activities of the 21st CCLC grant. Students will be able to participate in leadership, character building, random acts of kindness as well as other service-oriented projects to promote positive social/emotional growth and development.

Many students at school have limited access to extracurricular activities due to economic disadvantages, transportation, and uninvolved caregivers. Students do not have the practical experience in project based learning, which is at the core of the program design. Offering different teaching methodologies helps students gain experiences that align with classroom learning objectives. Through the implementation of these grants, Lincoln and Granite Mountain schools will provide our students and families with a full-service community center experience.