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E.C. elementary schools awarded $1.6 million for learning programs

June 13, 2001

The U.S. Department of Education has named the El Centro Elementary School District one of its recipients for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

The district will receive $1.6 million in the first year of a three-year grant to provide after-school learning opportunities for students and adults.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant was created by Congress to provide federal funding to rural and inner city schools to establish safe, drug-free, supervised facilities that will enhance learning opportunities for children and their families after school, on weekends and in the summer.

The ECESD will use the three-year grant to establish the "Promoting Achievement through Community Teamwork" project with the city of El Centro, the Imperial County Arts Council and other partners.

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PACT is expected to impact an estimated 6,000 students and 900 adults, who will be allowed to participate in the literacy programs it creates.

Both Congressman Duncan Hunter and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer praised the grants.

"Education is the most important gift we can provide our children," said Hunter, who represents the Imperial Valley.

"These funds will enhance opportunities for kids in our community to learn skills in a safe, drug-free environment that will last them a lifetime," Hunter said.

Boxer said, "After-school programs provide positive outlets for millions of children who are at risk after the school bell rings."

She added, "I am pleased that California is receiving nearly $25 million to protect our children and reduce violence and crime in our neighborhoods."

There were about 3,000 applications for funding nationwide. Of that, 308 applicants were awarded grants; 38 recipients were from California.

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