The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) on Monday announced more than $3.1 million in new 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants over a five-year period in Oklahoma, including a grant for Shawnee Public Schools.

The 13 new recipients join four other cohorts of returning grantees for a total federally funded allocation of $11.8 million.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised grant recipients for their dedication to serving students beyond the school day.

“Congratulations to these schools and community partners working together to offer activities that keep students engaged beyond the school day,” Hofmeister said. “These programs build children’s academic confidence and help them develop skill sets that match their interests and could even lead to future careers.”

The 21st CCLC initiative provides learning opportunities and enrichment activities to complement school-day learning for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The grant funding helps students meet state and local academic performance standards, particularly in high-poverty areas and low-performing schools. Activities take place before and after school, on summer breaks and during school holidays.

Shawnee Public Schools, a new and returning grantee, is taking advantage of 21st CCLC grants to offer STEM and art programs after school to more than 500 students at its four elementary schools.

“We are incredibly grateful for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants,” said Shawnee Superintendent April Grace. “Because of these grants, we and our community partners are able to provide extended learning opportunities and unique experiences that are not always possible during the school day. As a result of exposure to these opportunities, we have seen a tremendous impact on the social-emotional well-being of students. These programs are impacting students far beyond the academic benefits.”

In addition to reading, math and tutoring assistance, 21st CCLC programs offer enrichment activities including robotics, chess, debate, art, music, drama, science, college and career exploration, health and physical fitness. Literacy and other educational supports are also available to the families of students served.

Oklahoma received 35 grant applications for 21st CCLC this year. The 13 new grants give Oklahoma a total of 59 statewide grantees. The new grantees include:

Beggs Public Schools

Cleveland Public Schools

Fort Cobb - Broxton Public Schools

Idabel Public Schools

Lane Public Schools

Maryetta Public Schools

Newkirk Public Schools

Peavine Public Schools

Porter Consolidated Schools

Shawnee Public Schools

Tahlequah Public Schools

Tenkiller Public Schools

Tulsa Dream Center