HCISD to receive $1.5 million toward after-school programming

Harlingen CISD has been awarded a $1.5 million 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Cycle 10, Year 1 grant by the Texas Education Agency.

This federally-funded program (also called Texas Afterschool Centers on Education or Texas ACE), establishes centers that operate before and after school, as well as during the summer. HCISD is one of 51 entities to be selected to receive the grant for the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are honored to have been awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “This generous award will facilitate our efforts in ensuring our students are ‘College, Career, and Community Ready’ by enabling us to expand our after-school activities to deliver innovative and engaging activities to students and their families.”

The robust award will help fund high-quality extended learning opportunities outside of the regular school day for ten campuses, which include all five HCISD middle schools as well as Bonham, Crockett, Lamar, Long, and Rodriguez Elementary.

With the opportunity to apply an additional year, the district may be eligible for up to $3 million in funding over a two-year period.

After-school programming will target academics and wellness impacting performance, attendance, discipline, and advancement as well as bring a focus to students with special needs and provide family support in literacy and parenting skills.

Activities will include:

  • Hands-on and project-based extracurricular enrichment activities in academics and wellness
  • Character Strong/Rachel’s Challenge
  • Literacy libraries at elementary schools/Extended library hours at middle schools
  • Elementary and Secondary Special Education Centers
  • Family Literacy Classes/Parenting Classes
  • Incorporate high school volunteers and senior citizens

Additional opportunities will be available through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club:

  • TEXAS AIM program which is a Sylvan-based tutoring program in the areas of math and reading
  • Sports leagues for both middle and elementary schools organized by the Boys and Girls Club through afterschool activities
  • Expand and provide transportation for students interested in participating in the Boys and Girls Club Experience Summer Program
  • Night classes at the Boys and Girls Club provided by HCISD’s parental involvement department (topics will include learning the English language, parenting skills, college and career readiness, and interview tips)
  • Training for HCISD teachers in Girl Strong, a developmental program for girls, and SMART Moves Drug Abuse Prevention Program
  • Teen nights and lock-ins for middle school students who consistently attend school and afterschool enrichment activities

The funds along with HCISD’s partnership with the Boys and Girls Club will impact a minimum of 1,400 students a year.

Texas ACE programs are designed to provide students with a safe additional learning opportunity while school is not in session. The programs are free for participants.

This is the tenth cohort of the grants TEA has awarded since the federal program’s authorization in 2002. Grant funding will begin on Aug. 1, 2018, and run through July 2021.

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