Southwest applies for learning grant
Grant would make after-school care, resources available
In its quest to provide the best programs and opportunities for its students and parents, the Southwest school district recently applied for the 21st Century Learning Grant.
Tilford said the grant, which provides a means and a track for an after-school program and adult learning classes to be implemented in school districts and facilities that care for youth, is more than just after-school care for students, it provides expanded educational activities and instruction students wouldn't ordinarily have time for in the classroom, and offers benefits to the community, too.
"There would be the after school component, but it's more of a community learning center, with adult basic learning opportunities such as classes for parents on budgeting or nutrition, and other various programs we would be using to benefit the community," she said. "We need things in our area like after-school care and extracurricular tutoring, plus the grant would provide transportation to take students home. Getting more parents and community members involved at school and making it more of a community learning center versus just a K-12 school, to me, is very important in our area."
Exeter has had the same grant program for about three years and has been recognized by the state for ensuring high quality, expanded after-school learning opportunities for its youth under the program and its staff leadership.
Typically, the grant provides annual disbursements over a specific period of time, with the goal of helping districts eventually self-sustain the program.
The Southwest district did not get the grant this time, but does plan to reapply.
"Those who got it ended up being YMCA's and Boys & Girls Clubs, mostly," Tilford said. "They told me they would send some information about things we could improve upon so we could reapply next spring."