Largest ever $2million federal grant to fund summer and afterschool programming for 150 youthin high needs community
New Castle, DE – Joined by students, community advocates, U.S. Senators Thomas Carper and Chris Coons and state officials at the Route 9 Library and Innovation Center, the Charter School of New Castle, New Castle County and the YMCA of Delaware this morning announced the launch of an innovative partnership to provide enrichment activities and learning opportunities beginning this summer to up to 150 Charter School of New Castle elementary and middle school students. The partnership’s work is being funded through a $400,000 annual grant award fromthe 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CLLC)program, a competitive federal grant program administered in Delaware by the State Department of Education. This annual 21st CLLC funding is available for up to five years.
“Summer learning loss is a serious barrier to equal educational opportunities,”said County Executive Matt Meyer. “The $2 million grant announcedtoday will make a difference. Our kids matter, and their successmatters.”
The $2 million aggregate grant is the largest programming grant received in thehistory of New Castle County. The partnership established a year-roundprogram, including a full day summer session and afterschool programming duringthe academic year. The 7-week full day summer program will attack the“summer academic slump” through math and language arts instruction, STEMeducation, reading and literacy support and character development programming atthe Route 9 Library and Innovation Center, along with recreational andcharacter development activities at the Bear and Western YMCA branches summerday camps. During the school year, the afterschool program will includetutoring and homework assistance, reading and literacy support, opportunitiesin drama, art, tutoring, mentoring, leadership, club and interscholastic sportsand more at the Charter School of New Castle’s campus on Lukens Drive and theRoute 9 Library and Innovation Center during four afternoons each week.
“At the Charter School of New Castle we work every day to equip our students with the necessary skills to become critical thinkers, problem solvers and decisions makers of the future,” said Charter School of New Castle CEO AaronBass. “We encourage our students to have dreams, and work with themto achieve those dreams through vision and goals. Thanks to this grantand our partnership with New Castle County and the YMCA of Delaware hundreds ofyoung people in our community will have a better chance of attaining a brightfuture and meeting their full potential.”
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program funds local initiatives that provide learning and enrichment activities during non-school hours for students in schools that serve a high percentage of low-income families. The partnership announced today by the Charter Schoolof New Castle, New Castle County and the YMCA of Delaware is one of fiveDelaware recipients of 21st CLLC awards this year, and one of onlytwo grant recipients in New Castle County.
“Summer day camp at the Y is a fun and unique experience that every child should have an opportunity to enjoy,” said Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, Presidentand CEO of the YMCA of Delaware. “Because of our partnership, we will be able to provide more access to recreational and educational activities that will keep kids active and healthy all summer long. Through summer camp, we are helping combat summer learning loss and childhood obesity while children explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create lasting memories.”
About the Partners
The New Castle County Route 9 Library and Innovation Center, a transformational $31 million facility in the heart of the historic Route 9 Corridor, was designed to support literacy and promote innovation and entrepreneurship by leveraging technology to create opportunities for patrons of all ages to learn new skills like video editing, animation, and programmable electronics, and robotics in a welcomingand accessible setting. In addition to its core focus on books and literacy,the library features many unique learning areas including a STEM room,Makerspace, Media Production Lab, Sensory room, Bookatarium, Scriptorium andBlack Box Theater.
The Charter School of New Castle, lead applicant for the 21stCLLC grant, enrolls more than 800 students from Kindergarten througheighth grade. The Charter School of New Castle builds an excellentfoundation for future educational success through principles of instillingrespect for self and others, building strong character traits, and preparingstudent for success in a global society. It is guided by three academic goals:to educate students for future success, to promote academic excellence andequity for a diverse population of students within the public education systemand to provide a high-quality choice of educational opportunities within apublic school system for parents, students and educators.
The YMCA of Delaware, the largest provider of quality child care andcamp in the state, will provide summer learning and enrichment activities byengaging participating youth in its outdoor camps at the Western and Bear YMCAbranches. These camps will complement and enrich the Charter School ofNew Castle’s educational activities, as students have an opportunity to exploreand appreciate nature, music, art, drama and have fun. Opportunities toread in a purposeful way allow campers to maintain their learning skills overthe summer months. Swimming, team building activities and games will round outthe day. A nourishing lunch and snack will also be provided. YMCAcamp is about the whole child. The YMCA believes in providing comprehensivecamp programs, which foster the social, cultural, physical and emotionaldevelopment of children. Activities reflect the character values of caring,honesty, respect and responsibility. The YMCA creates opportunities forchildren to enhance their self-esteem, build friendships, develop greaterindependence and give them a sense of their creative potential in a safe, funand nurturing environment.
Jason Miller, New Castle County, [email protected]
Norman Solomon, Charter School of New Castle, [email protected]
Linda Risk, YMCA of Delaware, [email protected]