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School Lands Grant That Could Be Worth $660,000

<p><strong>Big check</strong>. Boys &amp; Girls Club members and Booneville Elementary School officials pose with a $150,000 check representing the first installment of a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Monday morning. The grant could total $660,000 over five years.</p>

Big check. Boys & Girls Club members and Booneville Elementary School officials pose with a $150,000 check representing the first installment of a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Monday morning. The grant could total $660,000 over five years.

The Booneville School District has learned it has been named the recipient of a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Grant that could total $660,000 over the next five years.

Funded by the Arkansas Department of Education though the No Child Left Behind Act, the grant will operate the ACHIEVE — After Class Helps Inspire, Explore, Visualize and Educate — network, a joint project of the school district and the Boys & Girls Club of South Logan County.

Through the grant the club and school district will provide homework assistance from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day at the Boys & Girls Club, which is located in the school district’s elementary school physical education building.

From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day the club will provide other enrichment opportunities including, “we’ll have plumbers come in, we’ll have chess, photography, cooking, and we’ll have a how to become a millionaire class for kids who are interested in that sort of thing,” said school superintendent John K. Parrish.

The plan is to offer four different activities each month with groups of students rotating through all four sessions on a weekly basis.

Schedules of activities will be available on the school district’s website and Facebook pages.

Parrish said part of the funds will be paid to the Club to help pay for the services they provide, like the homework help.

The grant came on the school district’s third attempt to secure the funding.

“We stayed after it and finally got it this year. Most of the work was done by Cindy Lawrence and Amanda Siddons — they did an excellent job,” said Parrish. “I’m very proud of them, they’ve done a lot to get us in a position to get this grant.

“Also, I’m excited for the opportunities for our kids. It will be a good thing for our community.”

The ACHIEVE Network will also offer family support services for pretest or guardians or adult family members of students who are taking part in the program.

Plans for those services include extended hours access to elementary school parent center materials to learn more about ways they can assist their child with school work and homework, provide classes and services to help family members learn more about technology and help them learn to be more comfortable with the use of technology.

The grant is funded at $150,000 in years one and two and $120,000 in the final three years. The program is also evaluated yearly to ensure proper use of the grant, Parrish said.

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