Local school receives grant for after school programs - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local school receives grant for after school programs

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Menomonie (WQOW)- With all the budget cuts in education federal grants have become increasingly important to schools. Students in 51 different sites around the state are benefiting from one federal grant designated to support after school activities.

Research shows programs for students before and after school can significantly improve academic achievement and attendance and also reduce behavioral problems.

"The after-school support that we provide them is key in helping children be successful, reach their potential," says Principal Peg Kolden, River Heights Elementary School.

River Heights Elementary School in Menomonie recently received the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

"It's difficult, time consuming, to write grants but the potential funding that you can get and the programming you can do. We couldn't offer this without the 21 Century Grant and we see it as very beneficial," says Kolden.

The money will be used to help pay for materials and staffing for before and after school activities.

"We have an early risers program which is a program for children before school. It starts at 6:30 and goes until 8:15. And then at the end of the day we have three programs," says Kolden.

Those programs include a program for beginning readers and after school tutoring programs.

"We also have an after school club program which are a variety of fun clubs that kids can take part in; Spanish and scrapbooking and Harry Potter," adds Kolden.

Principal Kolden says the grant is a must, but the community also plays a big role in these programs.

"We have many students from UW-Stout that come in and work in our after school program. We have professors that come in and make it a part of their curriculum requiring students to come and help here. We've worked with the Dunn County Extension office and they provide programs for us, so it really is bigger than River Heights, it takes a community collaboration to have a successful 21 Century Grant," says Kolden.

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