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USD 108 Receives Community Learning Center Grant
Washington County News
Thursday, December 07, 2017

A $125,000 first-year Kansas 21st Century Community Learning Center Program grant was awarded Tuesday to USD 108 by the Kansas State Board of Education.

The USD 108 request was one of 39 new grants approved Tuesday from 93 grant applications, according to Christine Macy, education program consultant with the Kansas State Board of Education. Applications came from school districts, faith-based and community organizations for the $3,261,453 awarded in new grants. The program funding year begins July 1. The district may apply for funds through this program for five years total, although awards will diminish in the fourth and fifth years.

“It means we can be proactive rather than reactive,” said USD 108 counselor Teryl Goeckel. “Our students will have access to some cutting edge educational programs.” She said the grant process had been a community effort and several community partners have committed to assisting with different aspects of the program. USD 108 Board Clerk Amy Anderson and Goeckel wrote the grant proposal.

These grants are designed to create community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities for children in core academic subjects as well offer enrichment activities that complement regular academic programs. Another grant program emphasis is to offer literacy and other education services to families of participating children.

In USD 108, the funds will be used to create PowerZone, an afterschool program, and Summer PowerZone, a 4-week summer enrichment program.

Key parts of the curriculum are these technology tools:  Project Lead the Way, Fast ForWord and myOn. Project Lead the Way allows students to work with computers and in small groups on sequential lessons, with a heavy science, technology, engineering and math emphasis. Hands-on, active learning is emphasized in Project Lead the Way. Fast ForWord is a literacy program that works with cognitive skills like memory, attention and processing speed. myOn provides anytime, anywhere access to a library of more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time reporting and assessments.

Community volunteers and partners will play an important role in PowerZone activities and special events, Goeckel said.

PowerZone will run Monday-Thursday from September through April. Summer PowerZone is scheduled for Monday-Thursday in June 2017.