Oskaloosa Elementary School and YMCA Selected for After School Program Grant

Mahaska County YMCA

Mahaska County YMCA

Oskaloosa, Iowa— The Iowa Department of Education has announced that the Oskaloosa Community School District is one of ten Iowa grantees selected for Fiscal Year 2013-2016 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) awards.

Each grant is unique, all provide after-school activities, but some provide additional before school meals and activities, summer school and other supports for children in need. Family literacy activities are also included. The Oskaloosa application includes after school and family literacy activities. New children will be enrolled in the program through a teacher referral process.

“The District Advisory Council (DAC) organized an advisory group to work on the application last year. Ten of us were involved and devoted a significant amount of work to the project,” said Dr. Mary Cooksley, District Curriculum Director. “We are all very excited for the opportunities we will be able to offer students in Oskaloosa.”

The ten people involved in planning the program and writing the grant included parents and teachers, YMCA staff, and representatives from the American Association of University Women, Crisis Intervention Services and the Oskaloosa Public Library.

The Mahaska County YMCA has provided after school child care at elementary school facilities since the mid-1980s. In recent years, the Y has worked with the school to better support classroom learning. This funding will allow for additional program enhancements next year by enhancing collaborations between the Y and the school.

The program design includes four key program areas: Academic Enrichment, Health and Wellness, Academic Assistance, and Family Literacy and Involvement. The program will not add additional classroom instruction to a child’s day. It will offer fun, experiential learning activities that support learning in the classroom.

Tim Veiseth, the elementary school principal involved in designing the program, stated, “The Y staff managing the program will, with parent permission, be able to focus academic assistance on individual child needs through collaborative communication with the child’s teacher. This and other aspects about the program will assist the school with addressing student learning needs.”

“I have the pleasure of volunteering on the District Advisory Council (DAC) and am excited the school and the Y have received the funding for this program. We will provide a quality after-school program that impacts student learning while keeping youth safe and happy. Parents will be very pleased with the program enhancements this funding will support next year,” said Dawn Collins, YMCA Executive Director.

For more information, contact Dawn Collins at the Mahaska County YMCA (641.673.8411) or Dr. Mary Cooksley at the Oskaloosa School Administration offices.

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