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Family & Children’s Place and JCPS receive $675,000 grant to expand out of school time programming

Family & Children’s Place and JCPS receive $675,000 grant to expand out of school time programming

(LOUISVILLE, Ky. May 25, 2021)  More students at Meyzeek Middle School will now be able to access out of school time programming thanks to a five year grant from 21st Century Community Learning Center.  The grant will ensure programming that was previously at risk annually, can continue for at least the next five years.  Family & Children’s Place and JCPS, through paid contracts with STEAM Exchange, River City Drum Corp, Bounce Coalition, Louisville Visual Arts, mPruv-U and Miller Transportation will help middle school students develop life skills and increase access to extended educational opportunities.

“There’s no greater investment we can make in our nation’s future than expanding access to education and support services that help students succeed inside the classroom and out.” Said Congressman John Yarmuth. “This federal funding for afterschool programs will make a world of difference for students participating here at Meyzeek Middle, but also for their families and our entire community. We know that every dollar invested in afterschool education produces at least three dollars of results—in the educational enhancement of our children, in the benefit of reliable child care services, and in increasing each child’s earning potential in the future. That is why I have been such a strong supporter of the 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative, and why I am so excited for Meyzeek Middle School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Family & Children’s Place, and the scores of students and families who will directly benefit from this incredibly important program.”

21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) is a federally funded education program administered by the states for afterschool programs.  Programming at Meyzeek will run at least 30 weeks during school year and 2 weeks over the summer with the ability to serve 50 students on a regular basis. This is an increase due to additional staffing allowed through 21CCLC funds

“We have been so fortunate to have the support of JCPS, the community and the staff at Meyzeek in providing school-based services for so many years.” Said Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place. “This funding comes as such a relief knowing students will be allowed access to our programming for at least five more years, especially as we begin to deal with the effects of isolation and the pandemic in the future.”

JCPS Superintendent, Dr. Marty Pollio agrees and also notes the challenging circumstances many children in the Smoketown, Russell and Shelby neighborhoods grow up facing. “A lot of these students experience trauma and witness things that we can’t imagine. If we can give them a safe haven after school while also helping them discover their interests, it can excite them about their education and their future.” Says Dr. Pollio.

Dr. Ronda George, principal at Meyzeek, knows her students best and is optimistic about the program expansion. “Meyzeek Middle School is excited to once again be partnering with Family and Children’s Place. Being awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant will allow our school to exponentially increase our ability to provide the much-needed academic support services and high interest programming to the students of Meyzeek.”

The grant provides a total of $675,000 over a five-year period.  During the grant period, two additional, part-time school day teachers, by contract with JCPS will join the team and ensure programming ties in with the school-day curriculum. A key aspect of the program is the relationship with Miller Transportation to remove transportation as a barrier to program participation. In addition to paid contracts, the program will receive in-kind support from Kentucky School for Blind, Norton Health & Wellness, First Financial Bank, KY Career Center, University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, Spalding University’s School of Social Work and Smoketown Family Wellness.

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About Family & Children’s Place

Family & Children’s Place (F&CP) protects Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and helps move them from hurting to healing.  FCP serve more than 3,500 children and families annually through trauma-informed and impact-evident services.  For more information about Family & Children’s Place, visit www.famchildplace.org or call 502-893-3900.