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Today Governor Dan McKee, Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Mayor Frank Picozzi, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Superintendent Lynn Dambruch, Oakland Beach Elementary School Principal Paul Heatherton, Boys & Girls Club of Warwick CEO Lara D’Antuono, and school and community-based organization leaders gathered at Oakland Beach Elementary School as part of the #RIReady budget tour to celebrate the recipients of nearly $4 million in grant funding aimed to expand access to extended learning opportunities to improve student outcomes across Rhode Island.

“To improve student outcomes, we are focused on shifting learning in Rhode Island from the traditional 180 school days to 365 days of learning, and we’re making the strategic investments to make it happen,” said Governor Dan McKee. “In addition to the $4 million in federal funds RIDE is investing to support partnerships between local education agencies and community-based organizations, my administration has prioritized another $4 million in the #RIReady budget to expand supplemental high-quality learning experiences. By coming together and working closely with families, educators, and business and municipal leaders, we will make sure our students continue to move forward.”

“For our students to thrive, we have to ensure that they have access to high-quality learning opportunities inside and outside of school hours. By partnering with community organizations across the state, our schools will be able to expand their offerings and help our children succeed,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “I’m excited to see what new opportunities these investments create for our kids.”

“Learning doesn’t just happen inside the four walls of a classroom: it takes place before and after the school day and during the summer, too,” said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick). “By providing as many learning opportunities as possible for kids, we are setting them up for greater success in life. I am thrilled that the Warwick Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Warwick are partnering to provide students in my hometown with programming that will enhance what they’re learning in school while they’re having fun.”

At the event, RIDE announced that it awarded 21 grants totaling $3.93 million to enhance educational programming throughout the Ocean State. The grants are made possible with the State’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) set-aside funding. In October, RIDE issued a request for proposal for applications to foster new or expanded partnerships between a local education agency and one or more community-based organizations to provide afterschool learning and enrichment opportunities for students in a specific school or set of schools, in alignment with the report and recommendations of the Learning, Equity & Accelerated Pathways (LEAP) Task Force. The LEAP Task Force was convened to help Rhode Island strategize on how to accelerate students’ learning statewide with particular focus on addressing inequities in education.

“To get our students ahead in the wake of COVID, we are working to expand access to learning opportunities across the Ocean State,” said Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Patti DiCenso. “I’m deeply thankful to the school and community leaders who are coming together to make sure that our students have safe, welcoming spaces and engaging programming in and out of school so they can recover and thrive academically.”

“Rhode Island schools are partnering with community-based organizations across the Ocean State to ensure students have access to high-quality after school programs and continue to move forward,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “RICAS from last year indicated that our students are heading in the right direction, in particular with promising scores in math, but we know a lot of work remains, and these programs will help close the gap. With a focus on year-round learning, we’re excited that communities will be offering academic and enrichment programs that will benefit students and that Governor McKee has committed an additional $4 million to these types of programs.”

Applicants for the funds were asked to provide programming that reinforces and complements the school day through a broad array of enrichment activities and academic supports. Most of the programs funded through these grants will take place in school buildings during out-of-school hours, though a few are taking place in other nearby facilities. Grants run through June 2024 and most programs are starting this school year, with some starting in the fall. Registration for these programs will be dependent on each district’s offerings.

Warwick Public Schools received grant funding for two initiatives. Through a partnership between Oakland Beach and the Boys & Girls Club of Warwick, the X-Stream Learning Center program proposes on “Xing out” learning gaps and providing “eXplicit” instruction in Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math, and is designed to support elementary school at-risk youth in grades K-5 in three key areas:

  • Support strong foundations in elementary school learning targeting Multilingual Learners in grades K-5,
  • Address learning loss in core academics through explicit, project-based applied learning in reading and STEAM related enrichment activities inclusive of MLL students,
  • And support positive and healthy social/emotional development inclusive of MLL students.

“We’re deeply grateful to have been selected by RIDE for this grant program and look forward to seeing our students continue to learn outside of the traditional school day,” said Superintendent Lynn Dambruch. “Our students’ learning recovery will require an all hands-on-deck effort and we’re looking forward to working closely with our local community organizations to offer Warwick students programs that are fun, enriching, and support their healthy growth and development.”

With a goal of mitigating learning loss and accelerating learning, the classes that will be offered at Oakland Beach will be grade level and span specific, target math or ELA common core standards and be project-based. The program will also contract with the Gamm Theatre to have a theater artist resident work with students in a program called PLAY (Promoting Literacy and Arts for Youth). Following the Oakland Beach portion of the afternoon, students will be escorted across the street to BGCW. At the club, students will be exposed to programming that will both supplement and complement the school day and after-school efforts. The Club will provide homework help as well as Comprehensive Youth Development programs designed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help students achieve positive outcomes in three priority areas: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. This grant will serve 40 students over the course of the rest of this school year, including 5 MLLs, and will serve 100 students next school year, including 23 MLLs.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Warwick is thrilled to be a partner in providing students the learning opportunities they need to excel,” said Boys & Girls Club of Warwick CEO Lara D’Antuono. “Through play and enriching academic programming, both in the classroom and in our Club, we can create pathways for our students to reach their full potential. By working together, we will make sure our students continue on the track to success.”

Additionally, the Norwood TLC (Theater, Learning, Caring) Academy will be held at Norwood Elementary School and is designed to support elementary school at-risk youth in grades K-5 in three key areas:

  • Support strong foundations in elementary school learning in grades K-5,
  • Address learning loss in core academics through explicit, project-based applied learning including in reading and STEAM related enrichment activities through the theater arts,
  • And support positive and healthy social and emotional development.

The Academy will run four days a week from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. starting in September 2023. Norwood staff will offer project-based classes in a variety of areas such as coding, robotics, inventions, and gardening. Further, in partnership with the Gamm, the program will have two artists who will offer classes in play production, improvisation, singing, movement, and clowning. The program specifically seeks to address the need for deeper literacy learning and will engage students in reading, writing, community building, and performance. This grant will serve 100 students, including 5 MLLs.

The 21 grant recipients include;

LEACBO(s)Fiscal agentSchool(s)Funding Amount
Central FallsProject GOALLEAVeterans ES, Calcutt MS$165,000
Central FallsOnward We LearnCBOCalcutt MS$180,000
East ProvidenceBoys & Girls Club of East ProvidenceCBORiverside MS$194,261
East ProvidenceBoys & Girls Club of East ProvidenceCBOEast Providence HS$173,026
HighlanderCenter for Dynamic LearningLEAHighlander ES$160,162
Kingston HillThe Autism ProjectLEAKingston Hill Academy$61,000
Met SchoolProvidence Public LibraryLEAMet School$150,284
NewportEast Bay Community Action ProgramCBOPell ES$170,000
NewportNewport Community SchoolCBORogers HS, Thompson MS$250,000
NewportInternational Tennis Hall of FameCBOThompson MS$120,000
Paul CuffeeBlackstone Valley Tourism Council; MacColl YMCALEAPaul Cuffee MS$213,435
PawtucketBoys & Girls Club PawtucketCBOSlater MS$199,827
ProvidenceBoys & Girls Clubs ProvidenceCBOMary Fogarty ES$200,000
ProvidenceMt. Hope Learning CenterCBOMLK ES$172,288
ProvidenceFederal Hill HouseCBOKizirian ES, Messer ES$399,547
ProvidenceOne Neighborhood BuildersCBOD’Abate ES$77,530
SegueSojourner House; Farm Fresh Rhode IslandLEASegue IFL$200,000
SmithfieldSmithfield YMCALEAGallagher MS$185,899
WarwickBoys & Girls Club of WarwickLEAOakland Beach ES$200,000
WarwickGamm TheatreLEANorwood ES$150,000
WoonsocketConnecting for Children & Families; Riverzedge Arts; Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition; NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley; Boys & Girls Club of WoonsocketCBOVilla Nova MS, Woonsocket HS$310,000

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