Area wins $3.4M for after-school programs for needy kids


Hundreds of young Dayton and Trotwood students will have access to high-quality after-school programming the next five years, after multiple agencies landed $3.4 million in competitive federal grants.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grants announced this month pay for academic and other supports for low-income children who attend under-performing schools, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

Two years ago, the region had only two 21st Century grant programs. Last year the number grew to four, and this year, six sites will offer the after-school services – four in Dayton and two in Trotwood. Ritika Kurup, director of early learning at Learn to Earn Dayton, said each site can serve 80 to 100 children.

RELATED: After-school programs seen as key to closing gap

“We can give kids opportunities to learn more, and we can have activities for them,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said. “From the neighborhood perspective, kids who are in activities after school are less likely to get in trouble. On both the education front and the neighborhood quality front, this is a great big win.”

Four of the grants are newly announced five-year programs funded at $200,000 each of the first three years, then $150,000 in Year 4 and $100,000 in Year 5.

In Dayton, those programs will be housed at Fairview School (in cooperation with Omega Community Development Corporation) and Ruskin School, continuing their work with East End Community Services.

The Trotwood programs are through Trotwood-Madison City Schools and will be housed at Madison Park and Westbrooke Village elementary schools.

RELATED: Families could get thousands in preschool tuition help

Kurup said the programs will be up and running by October and will feature a variety of enrichment activities, not just an extension of the school day.

“Academics is a big piece of it, but it’s also project-based learning, youth development activities, including social/emotional things,” Kurup said. “And family engagement is a big piece, getting them involved in the child’s education.”

Those four grant programs join two others that are beginning Year 2 of a three-year funding cycle – a YMCA-tied effort at Dayton’s Cleveland School and a program at Dayton Leadership Academy.

“In total, that’s $4.5 million in the community for after-school programming for children, which is a really big deal,” Whaley said. “It shows our commitment that we’re paying attention to the children not just when they’re in school, but making sure they have quality opportunities all the time.”

RELATED: Agencies fight poverty in east, west Dayton

The best known after-school program in the city has likely been Ruskin’s Miracle Makers, partnering with East End thanks to a previous 21st Century grant. It offers students extra academic help, but also music lessons and exposure to theater and other opportunities.

Kurup said each program is a little different, as the Omega afterschool effort at Fairview will feature STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, math), while some of the YMCA programs have had more sports and physical activities.

Whaley’s City of Learners Committee has a work-group focused on summer and after-school opportunities, and she said the 21st Century grants could be a springboard to more chances for local kids.

“A lot of the other foundations that are interested (in providing funding) say if you’re not maximizing 21st Century grants, then you’re not serious in after-school programming work,” she said.

RELATED: Dayton schools begin year with uneasy peace

Kurup said research shows after-school enrichment time is an “equalizer” for low-income students whose families can’t afford music lessons, tutors and other opportunities. She said the steady stream of funding pays for the quality level needed.

“A high-quality program needs qualified, high-quality staff – whether that’s certified teachers or trained after-school providers and youth services workers,” Kurup said.

The grant money will pay for that staff and can also cover transportation and curriculum costs.

“By working together with the county, the United Way and the city, and using the expertise of a grant writer (Amy Jomantas), it’s a good story about collective impact,” Kurup said. “Summer and after-school access has expanded because of the collective work of so many partners.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Wisconsin man says he lost $100K on previous Dayton Arcade effort
Wisconsin man says he lost $100K on previous Dayton Arcade effort

A Wisconsin man said he is out $100,000 he invested nearly a decade ago on a failed attempt to redevelop the Dayton Arcade, and he is asking local officials for records relating to the project. Stephen Heins of Sheboygan, Wisc., wrote an open letter to city of Dayton and Montgomery County government officials today, saying that he was one of a group...
National Road overpass at I-75 in Vandalia to close temporarily
National Road overpass at I-75 in Vandalia to close temporarily

The Ohio Department of Transportation is set to close the National Road overpass at Interstate 75 in Vandalia on Friday night until approximately early Monday morning. The road will be repaved. Workers will take off a thin layer of the road’s surface and add a new layer. “A complete closure was selected over the option of closing certain...
Kohl's will hire 90,000 seasonal employees
Kohl's will hire 90,000 seasonal employees

Kohl’s is hiring for the holidays. >> Read more trending news  The department store chain announced Thursday that it plans to hire 90,000 seasonal employees nationally for more than 1,100 stores, nine distribution centers, and five-commerce fulfillment centers and credit centers, WTKR reported. “Our early strategy is working...
Dayton man charged in woman’s brutal beating had slipped ankle monitor
Dayton man charged in woman’s brutal beating had slipped ankle monitor

A Dayton man accused of brutally beating a woman was wanted at the time for escaping from his electronic ankle monitor while out on bond for another crime. Travion D. Montgomery, 28, was indicted today on a charge of felonious assault by a Montgomery County grand jury in the Aug. 31 beating. The woman, Meinakola McLemore, was found lying face-down...
Arizona to open first US medicinal marijuana kitchen in Tempe
Arizona to open first US medicinal marijuana kitchen in Tempe

The first full-service cannabis kitchen will open in Arizona on Oct. 5, KSAZ reported. >> Read more trending news  The Mint Dispensary is launching the kitchen in Tempe, and Arizona residents with a medicinal marijuana card will be able to buy a meal customized with a dose of cannabis, KNXV reported. The breakfasts, lunches and...
More Stories