For an unprecedented fifth time, Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri has been awarded multiple 21st Century Community Learning Center grants.

Awarded through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the three highly competitive grants total more than $5 million over a five-year grant cycle.

“We are incredibly grateful for this grant award as it means Boys & Girls Club can continue to do what we do best – serve more students, more often with enrichment programs during crucial afterschool time,” said BGC Executive Director Gary Beckman.

The 21CCLC program supports community learning centers across the nation that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours. According to the US Department of Education, “the program helps students meet state and local academic standards in core academic subjects such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational serves to the families of participating children.”

Currently BGC operates 12 Club Sites in seven communities – Cole Camp, Dresden, Green Ridge, La Monte, Leeton, Sedalia and Smithton – offering afterschool programs to any student who attends school in those districts. With the new round of grant funding, the list of sites will expand to 14 to include Fayette and Sedalia Housing Authority.

“We are especially excited about our partnership with Sedalia Housing Authority that, combined with this grant funding, will allow us to serve students who live in the Housing neighborhood right in their Community Room,” Beckman said. “Between the two new Club Sites we expect to serve at least 100 more children.”

The Fayette and Saline (Sedalia Housing) Sites are slated to open later this fall; more information about how to register children will be available at a later date. For questions or more information about 21CCLC grant funding, call the Boys & Girls Club Administrative Office at 660-826-8331.

More From AM 1050 KSIS