Learning center

Wallingford Boy & Girls Club launches learning center with $850,000 grant

WALLINGFORD — The Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club and Wallingford Public Schools have received an $850,000 grant from the state Department of Education to provide services to students at Cook Hill and Parker Farms Elementary Schools.

The grant is part of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program administered by the US Department of Education.

“It just made sense for this partnership to happen because ultimately 21st Century funding is provided to schools in partnership with a non-profit organization to help improve children’s education in the schools we provide. services,” said Carlos Collazo, executive director of the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club.

The club, in partnership with the school system, received $850,000 to provide after-school academic and family enrichment services and summer camps to students at the two elementary schools for the next five years. Each year for the first three years the center will receive $200,000 to deliver the programs, for the fourth year it will receive $150,000 and for the final year $100,000.

Grant funds will pay for a full-time site director and youth development professionals to provide after-school tutoring, a summer school enrichment program, materials and additional resources for community activities. 21st century community learning centers and field trip opportunities, according to a statement announcing the program this week.

The grant program is based on economic need. At least 40% of students must receive a free or reduced lunch for schools to be eligible.

The program started on Monday. Collazo said more than 70 students have already registered.

“Compared to our typical after-school care program, it’s really a full year program with after school, summer and also kind of a wrap-up with family,” said Don Crouch, Resource Development and Marketing Manager for the club. . “So there will be family engagement activities, there will be extended field trips for kids during the school year, during summer camp. Especially with the loss of learning during the pandemic for the past two years, this is definitely going to be a game changer for these two schools.

The club has also partnered with Goodwin College to provide professional development for staff members so they can deliver science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs to the young people they serve. It’s a collection of topics called STEAM.

“Quality after-school programs, like this program at the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club, help improve student achievement in English and math,” said Robert Kovi, Career and Technical Education Coordinator for Wallingford Public Schools. . “…Any opportunity we have to expose students to these STEAM topics will help ensure their future success.”

21st Century Community Learning Centers operate after school Monday through Friday during the school year and for eight weeks during the summer. For more information or to register, go to ulbrichbgc.org/s/21st-century-community-learning-center.