At-risk and struggling 1st through 8th graders in the White Salmon Valley School District will continue to have a safe place to go after school, to receive valuable help with academics and other life skills.
That’s because the A-List Adventure program just received news that it won a five-year, nearly $1.7 million dollar grant from the 21st Century Learning Centers, a federally funded program through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
And that means the District’s extremely successful program can carry on, and grow.
“Securing this grant is a huge relief because we will be able to continue to offer an after school program that has benefited so many of our students,” said District Superintendent Jerry Lewis. “The District would have had to downsize what we offer for after-school programming by two-thirds.”
The program provides academic intervention, enrichment, hands on learning, health classes, physical activity, art, field trips, financial literacy, and much more.
The grant award is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration between the District’s 21st CCLC Project Director Dorinda Belcher and White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) Grant Writer Leigh Hancock.
“When Dorinda called to tell me, we were both yelling in the phone, because we know how important the A-List Adventure program is to some of our most vulnerable students,” said Hancock. “They’ve revised some of the grant criteria since we applied in 2012, and we are no longer considered a high needs, ethnically diverse school. So we had to make up those points in other areas. I credit a lot of our success to the strong after-school program Dorinda has developed over the past several years.”
“The new grant includes Fridays, so we will have the program five days a week instead of four,” said Belcher. “Our students will be getting their homework done, staying active and learning in different ways they don’t always have time to in a regular school day.”
The program runs Monday through Friday afternoons throughout the school year, and four hours per day for four weeks in the summer.
“We were so excited and even a little surprised because the requirements for the new grant had been increased making it more difficult to qualify for the grant,” said Superintendent Lewis. “I want to thank Leigh and Dorinda for putting so much effort into the application of this grant. The partnership we have with the WSVEF continues to provide valuable teaching and learning opportunities for our students. I am grateful to be part of such a supportive community.”
That community support has made possible the more than $2.6 million dollars in contributions the WSVEF has provided to schools since 2006 through raised funds and grant writing.