The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri has been awarded two 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants (21CCLC), for the third time, totaling $800,000 for the current school year.

The program is granted through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

According to a press release from the Boys and Girls Club, the 5-year grant will help fund afterschool programs in Sedalia, Cole Camp, Green Ridge, La Monte, Leeton, and Smithton.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work our staff have put in to make this grant possible,” said Executive Director Gary Beckman. “BGCWCM has a reputation, not just in Sedalia, but across Missouri as providing high-quality afterschool care for children.”

The Club plans to immediately begin the process of recruiting, hiring, and training additional part-time staffers so membership levels can grow.

“I want to especially thank our Boys & Girls Club parents who have been very gracious and patient dealing with the wait lists we had to put in place to start the school year. We are working hard to start hiring more part-time Youth Development Professionals and Site Assistants, and once staffing levels are in place we will be able to open the wait lists," said Beckman.

The press release indicates that Beckman expected to open-up membership numbers by mid-October, and encouraged parents to speak to their local Site Managers for updated information.

The Club says the new 21CCLC grant will account for approximately 36% of the overall budget and includes funding for three new programs: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), Coding for the Future, and Life Skills.

Randy Kirby