Last month, the White House unveiled its proposed federal budget. If enacted, this budget will eliminate 62 federal programs – including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program.
“This budget proposal is devastating for hundreds of organizations like Scholars Unlimited,” said Kathleen King, President. “More important, it is devastating for thousands of children and youth who are considered at-risk, and who are able to get a helping hand up thanks to before- and after-school and summer learning programs funded through 21st Century grants.”
According to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), current 21st Century Community Learning Center grant awards are funding out-of-school-time programs at 102 sites around the state. Last year, more than 19,000 students attended 21st Century-funded programs in Colorado.
“Our 21st Century grant funding amounted to about one-third of our budget for 2016, so it’s a vitally important revenue stream for the disadvantaged kids and families seeking our programs,” said Kathleen.
She continued, “In calling for the elimination of this funding, the White House budget chief said there’s ‘no demonstrable evidence’ that out-of-school time programs are effective at increasing student achievement.
“That is flat wrong. There is ample evidence that afterschool programs help improve students’ grades and test scores, help improve regular school attendance, and help students build positive behaviors that are building blocks for ongoing success.”
Scholars Unlimited’s own data demonstrates that our programs are effective in helping disadvantaged students. By the conclusion of our programs:
- Three out of four participants achieve grade-level proficiency in fundamental literacy skills;
- Nearly half achieve grade-level proficiency in reading fluency and comprehension; and
- Almost all have made gains in social-emotional skills that support greater academic achievement.
As a friend of Scholars Unlimited, we hope you’ll call on Senators Bennett and Gardener and your Congressional representative to preserve 21st Century funding. You’ll find more information, including contact info, here:
Thank you, in advance, for advocating on behalf disadvantaged students!