Submitted The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County was recently awarded more than $1 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) federal funds to operate a program at Allen School in the Burlington-Edison School District beginning this fall. Previously, the School District operated a program targeting students in grades K-5. That program was ending in August, and the two organizations worked together to build a strong application in a highly competitive year for the funding.
The Allen School Boys & Girls Club is the fourth to open since October of last year when two sites were opened to serve in Concrete, and the Clubs took on leadership of a program at Lucille Umbarger School, also in Burlington. “It takes a lot of energy to open a new site,” says Manny Smith, Director of Operations for the local Club organization. “However, it helps that we’ve opened six locations in the last few years. Each time we learn something new and make sure to take the best practices into each new endeavor.”
The new program will expand to serve youth grades K-8, be open later, and serve youth five days a week. “As with any of our Clubs, we spent a lot of timing observing the current program and found some great new practices to carry forward and institute in our other Clubs. There are also opportunities for strengthening the opportunities available to the students at Allen School,” says Ron McHenry, CEO for the organization. “With a strong peer network of other Club leaders in Skagit County, it is easy to share resources that benefit all youth, but that a single Club would find difficult to obtain.” This can include items like 3-D printers, Drones, and other equipment that are not used all-year, but instead, part of a developing and advancing series of engagement that can reach more kids.
“In May, I visited Allen Elementary School’s 21st Century Community Learning Center to learn about how dedicated teachers and staff provide extra support and opportunities for students to learn beyond the normal school day,” said Rep. Larsen. “I commend the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County and the Burlington-Edison School District for submitting a strong grant application that stood out in a competitive grant process that will allow this important program to continue. I will continue to protect and support federal funding to expand quality programs like 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Skagit County and across Washington’s Second District.”
Enrollment for the Allen School Boys & Girls Club is already underway. Based on initial interest, it is likely the program will face challenges similar to other Clubs—the establishment of a waiting list based on staffing availability and ensuring that safety and program quality standards are being met. Those interested in more information can contact Manny Smith, Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Curriculum highlights include targeted Social-Emotional Learning interventions based on grade level, incorporation of activities to support the recently adopted Integrated Science/Social Studies in Burlington-Edison Schools, STEM Activities, Field Trips, Workforce Readiness/Career Exploration engagement, and more.