Boise, ID. – The State Department of Education has awarded $1.5 million in grants to 10 Idaho
schools and communities to give students opportunities for academic achievement and well-being.
The funding is administered through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a federally
funded program for after-school and summer learning programs.

“Children’s need for academic enrichment and engaging activities doesn’t end with the school
day,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “These programs provide a safe,
encouraging environment that can reduce incidents of bullying and other at-risk behaviors during
the crucial hours after school.”

The five-year grants range from $109,000 to $170,000 per year to provide salaries, transportation,
equipment and field trips during non-school hours. After-school programs support and enrich
learning in subjects including STEM, literacy, arts, social and emotional well-being, health and
wellness, nutrition, physical activity, cultural diversity, drug and violence prevention and bullying
prevention.

Grant recipients for the 2018-19 school year include:
* After School Kids, Inc. – $124,459
* Boys & Girls Club of Magic Valley – $155,000
* Caldwell School District – $142,831
* Cascade School District – $109,931
* West Ada School District – $135,106
* Lake Pend Oreille District – $170,000
* Nampa School District – $125,000
* Parma School District – $167,000
* Payette School District – $170,000
* University of Idaho – $123, 201

In a separate announcement, made last week, the Idaho Board of Education introduced a five-year grant agreement with the online literacy program Achieve3000 will give 4-year-olds across the state access to an online program called, “Smarty Ants.” The program is designed to help kids get ready for kindergarten by helping them get ready to learn to read.

Starting on April 10th, all Idaho 4-year-olds will have free access to the animated, interactive reading-readiness program. The goal of the program is to make every Idaho parent, day care and outreach program aware of this opportunity.

“I’m excited to be able to offer families throughout Idaho the opportunity to jump-start their pre-kindergarten student’s education with this free, fun and interactive online program,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.