Federal grants are helping Chesterfield County students

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Grants for 21st-Century Community Learning Centers are making a difference in the lives of Chesterfield County Public Schools students living in the county’s poorest areas. Since 2004, the school system has received more than $8 million to provide targeted remediation and enrichment at 11 schools.

The Virginia Department of Education announced this year’s 21st-Century Community Learning Center grants on Aug. 4, and Chesterfield County Public Schools won one of the 33 competitive grants awarded in the state. The latest grant will provide before- and after-school programs during the school year, plus four weeks of summer programs, at Chalkley Elementary.

The grants, which are funded with federal Title IV money, last for three years as long as schools follow grant guidelines. Four schools in Chesterfield County Public Schools received grants in 2014 and two received grants in 2015, so a total of seven Chesterfield County schools will have 21st-Century Community Learning Centers in the 201-17 school year.

“These grants are helping create positive school environments that engage students and staff in innovative and relevant work,” said Dr. James F. Lane, superintendent for Chesterfield County Public Schools. “I want our students and staff members to love coming to school every day. Student engagement will be our focus; if we master that, then student progress will follow.”

Grants are awarded each year, and schools are eligible to re-apply when their three-year grants end. Within Chesterfield County Public Schools, Ettrick Elementary has won a total of three 21st-Century Community Learning Center grants and Falling Creek Elementary has won two 21st-Century Community Learning Center grants.

Grant awarded in 2016

  • Chalkley Elementary will receive $180,887 each year to offer before- and after-school programs starting in late September for 75-120 students in grades 2-5. Targeted instruction, remediation and enrichment will focus on reading and math. Summer programming will offer four weeks of academic enrichment to maintain learning through the summer. Communities In Schools of Chesterfield serves as partner and co-applicant. Other partners include the Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development Department, Prevention Services of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department and Bon Air United Methodist Church.

Grants awarded in 2015

  • Harrowgate Elementary was awarded $187,882 each year for the SOAR Club, providing before- and after-school remediation and enrichment plus summer programs for 90-100 students in grades 2-5. Partners are the Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development Department and the Teen Ambassadors of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department.
  • Falling Creek Elementary was awarded $188,222 each year for the 21st-Century Program, providing before- and after-school remediation and enrichment plus summer programs for 90-100 students in grades 2-5. Partners are the Chesterfield County Youth Planning and Development Department and the Teen Ambassadors of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department.

Grants awarded in 2014

  • Bellwood Elementary was awarded $175,212 each year for the Bellwood Brain Boosters (B3), providing before- and after-school remediation and enrichment plus summer programs for 90-100 students in grades 3-5. Communities In Schools of Chesterfield, Fit4Kids and the Teen Ambassadors of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department are Bellwood’s partners.
  • Ettrick Elementary was awarded $188,720 each year for AIM (Advancing Imaginative Minds), providing before- and after-school remediation and enrichment plus summer arts enrichment for 90-120 students in grades 2-5. Communities In Schools of Chesterfield, Virginia State University and the Teen Ambassadors of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department are Ettrick’s partners in this program.
  • Marguerite Christian Elementary was awarded $166,690 each year for its PRIDE program, providing before- and after-school remediation and enrichment plus summer programs for 90-100 students in grades 3-5. The YMCA of Greater Richmond, Fit4Kids, Chester Presbyterian Church and the Teen Ambassadors of the Chesterfield County Mental Health Department are the school’s partners.
  • Falling Creek Middle was awarded $187,724 each year to provide academic, enrichment and recreational activities after school and in the summer for 90-100 students. Working in partnership with the school are the Science Museum of Virginia, MEGA Mentors, VCU’s Division of Community Engagement, First Touch Sports, Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department and Chesterfield County Mental Health Department.