FORT WAYNE—The Boys & Girls of Fort Wayne now provides a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) within its largest club facility located at 2609 Fairfield Ave. This learning center is currently the only 21st Century Community Learning Center in Fort Wayne.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is a federally-funded program that provides at-risk students a safe environment during non-school hours. This program may have one or multiple centers/sites which may be located in schools, community facilities, or faith-based facilities. All centers must provide a range of high-quality services to support regular school-day academics and development, including, but not limited to: tutoring and mentoring, academic enrichment (e.g. homework assistance, reading, math, science, and technology programs), service learning, character education, physical education and recreational activities, and dropout prevention. The 21st CCLC program must also engage adult family members in actively participating with students through educational and personal development opportunities.*Indiana Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www.doe.in.gov/idoe/grants-management/21st-century-community-learning-centers-program.
Initially, the center will support four elementary schools within the Fort Wayne Community Schools system; Fairfield, Harrison Hill, South Wayne and Abbett. These particular schools serve a high volume of children from households with income levels below the poverty level and on average 90 percent are receiving reduced or free lunch. Additionally, these schools serve a higher number of non-English speaking homes.
The new 21st Century Community Learning Center Director Diana Swayze, will manage the program and serve as a liaison between school personnel, parents, and partner agencies to support educational goals and maximize student performance in school. Swayze was the former director of Program and Services at East Wayne Center and brings nearly 25 years of educational program management to this role at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center is funded by the Indiana Department of Education and implemented with partnering agencies with similar missions to maximize the desirable outcomes for students. Partners include: Unity of Performing ARTS Foundation (Marshall White, CEO and Voices of Unity), Growing Minds, Science Central and Specialty Tutoring.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to partner with the State of Indiana, Fort Wayne Community Schools and other community based organizations to bring supplement educational services to some of these children. I believe this is the kind of effort it will take to ensure that our community children have a real opportunity to reach their full potential. The Boys & Girls Club is extremely excited to have this opportunity and look forward to working with these great partners in behalf of our community’s youth.” said Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne Joe Jordan.
The Boys & Girls Clubs is ranked as the third largest after school provider in the state of Indiana with a complete schedule of after-school programming to support academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character and leadership development. Additionally, a meal and snack are provided to each member Mondays through Friday during the hours of 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. during the school year. Membership is open to children and teens between the ages of 6 and 18. The membership fee is $15 per Club member or $35 for a family of three or more for a full year of programming. Families may get membership applications by calling (260) 744-0998 or downloading the application at www.bgcfw.org. A child must be a Club member to participate in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program and should contact Diana Swayze at (260) 744-0998 ext. 20 for more information on enrollment.
For more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne go to www.bgcfw.org.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 11 print edition.