Walla Walla Public Schools awarded $2.25M 21st Century Grant
Walla Walla Public Schools was recently awarded a $2.25M afterschool education grant spanning the next five years through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center initiative. The 21st CCLC grant award will serve Berney, Edison, Green Park and Sharpstein Elementary Schools starting September 1, 2022. The district will receive a $450,000 annual allocation over the next five years.
21st CCLC programs are federal afterschool programs that support the creation of community learning centers and provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. These programs help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offer students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and provide literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. Locally, the WWPS programs will focus on increasing academic performance in the aforementioned core content subject areas through literacy and STEM-based opportunities. The program will also focus on social-emotional skill development in the areas of initiative, teamwork, responsibility and problem solving.
Through intentional extra-curricular interventions, enrichment opportunities and family and community events, these programs are also proven to increase students' individual and contextual resilience capacities. Helping Walla Walla Public Schools to lead the implementation of these high quality afterschool offerings are the following community partners:
• Sustainable Living Center - Utilizing the Walla Walla Valley Farm 2 School program, the SLC will engage WWPS students in afterschool outdoor learning spaces, including school garden projects.
• Walla Walla Symphony & Walla Walla Music Organization - These collaborative organizations will teach audio engineering and sound design concepts to WWPS students to facilitate the creation of podcasts and original music compositions.
• YWCA of Walla Walla - The YWCA will implement their high quality Mariposa leadership program for WWPS 5th grade afterschool students. These students will become the student leadership cohort at each site, each year.
• Community Resilience Initiative - In conjunction with WWPS, CRI will conduct an original research study on afterschool participation and its effects of youth resilience.
In addition to the WWPS existing afterschool programs at Prospect Point, Garrison, Pioneer, Lincoln High School and Walla Walla High School, these newly awarded elementary program sites will be managed and directed by William Hammond. Previously serving as the 21st CCLC Site Coordinator at Garrison for the last 10 years, William has successfully engaged hundreds of under-served young people in some of the most exciting afterschool STEM projects and activities, including drones, high altitude weather balloon launches, robotics, Arduino and Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, AR/VR and more.
Within the 21st CCLC Program Director role, William will help ensure that all WWPS students have equitable access to enriching, rigorous, and fun extracurricular opportunities. “We are excited to continue to grow the after school programs throughout the district and the continuation of funding at Berney, Edison, Green Park, and Sharpstein will greatly benefit over 400 students and their families each year at these schools.” said Will Hammond. "This new grant award will provide amazing extracurricular opportunities and support programs for nearly 1000 students and families over the next five years."
For more information about the Walla Walla Public Schools 21st CCLC program, visit: wallawallaafterschool.com