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Renewed grant allows for further ‘Exploration’

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in the Elsberry R-II School District has been renewed for the 2013-2014 school year.

The $241,483 renewal will continue to fund the Explorer’s Club after school program. After school programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning. In the U.S. today, 15.1 million children go home alone after school.

The Elsberry R-II Explorer’s Club program served 137 students in grades preschool through sixth last school year. Families pay tuition that is based on income for their children to attend. Helping working families is a key component of the program, which is why families can choose to pick students up any time between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. or utilize the bus service that is available every day at 5:30 p.m.

Students that attend Explorer’s Club have snack, recreation, homework assistance and educational enrichment opportunities every day. According to Program Director Amanda Seeley, students love the hands-on learning experiences that occur during Explorer’s Club, while parents love the homework assistance.

“A highlight for many of the students is the new technology they get to utilize during Explorer’s Club,” said Seeley. “This technology includes both Kindle Fires and iPads. Educational applications and books capture the students’ interest and reinforce the same concepts they learn during the school day in a new, technology-enhanced way.”

Seeley went on to explain how the funding from the 21st CCLC grant has made purchases like this possible. Students also enjoy having the freedom to choose learning experiences that range from fashion design, music, and construction to robotics, dance and science after their homework is complete.

All 21st CCLC grants rely on community partnerships. Currently, the Explorer’s Club partners with the Elsberry FFA, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the University of Missouri Extension Center.

“These partnerships provide resources, experiences and activities for our students. We are always looking for new partners and would love to come speak to your organization,” said Seeley.

The Elsberry R-II Explorer’s Club will offer open enrollment for students in grades K-6 on Monday, Aug. 12 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. We ask that all previous and new families fill out enrollment packets at this time. Full time and partial week attendance are available.

“During enrollment, you will be filling out basic forms, payment arrangements, bus preference, and the first quarter’s enrollment calendar,” explained Seeley. “Please be prepared to fill out these papers at this time. Once after school classrooms are full, a waiting list will be established for future enrollment.”

For more information about the program or about enrollment, contact Amanda Seeley or Jocelyn Kreuger, site coordinator, at 898-5554 x267. The first day of Explorer’s Club will be Tuesday, Aug. 20.

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