The award came from the state department of education which is administering the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program in Alabama.
The program is about providing academic enrichment opportunities outside of normal school hours, particularly for students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools. The goal is to help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math, and to offer students a broad array of enrichment activities to complement their regular academic program.
Chastain’s grant proposes before-school, after-school and summertime activities such as field trips, extended library hours and activities to help kids enjoy school more.
Opportunities to involve parents are also part of the program, perhaps through physical fitness activities, special programs and other community-enhancing activities.
Grant awardees have some flexibility in how and when they run their programs, which allows local systems to tailor programs to the particular communities they serve.
We commend the Talladega County school system for being alert to opportunities to improve the lives and communities it serves and for taking the initiative to bring in new funding to make things happen.