District Applies for Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC Federal Grant

Castleberry ISD Applies for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Federal Grant
Posted on 01/23/2023
Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Federal Grant

Castleberry ISD submitted an application for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.

As stated on the Texas Education Agency website, “The federal Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC program supports the creation and expansion of community learning centers that provide academic and enrichment opportunities during afterschool and summer programming. The Texas 21st CCLC program operates as the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education, or Texas ACE. Cycle 12 of Texas ACE will focus on three key activities:

  • Targeted academic support using high-quality instructional materials (HQIM), high-impact tutoring (HIT), and/or school-day aligned academic activities.

  • Student interest-based enrichment that is both academic and enriching, including but not limited to college and career readiness, service learning, physical fitness, health and wellness, and fine arts activities.

  • Family engagement in learning through ongoing activities that connect parents to the school and community.”

If awarded the federal grant, Castleberry ISD plans to utilize the funds to provide students additional opportunities to develop academic, leadership, and character skills after school and in the summer months until 6:00 PM through a newly developed partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County. Currently, there is not an active Boys & Girls Club within the boundaries of Castleberry ISD. The Tarrant County Club serves mostly Fort Worth ISD students; however, if awarded this grant opportunity, the district has planned a way to develop a partnership which would allow the organization to expand their services to serve residents residing within the boundaries of Castleberry ISD.

The proposed program will focus on each student’s STAAR scores, district unit and benchmark assessments, local TFAR assessments, MAPS Testing, TSIA scores, and Industry-based Certifications. Each student will create goals, motivators, and track their progress towards their goals each month and annually and will showcase their learning through student-led conferences with their families. Castleberry ISD teachers and the Boys & Girls Club tutors will engage with students during this process and adjust activities as needed to meet their academic needs.

In addition, the district will include special events and scheduled activities with other local community-based organizations such as Camp Carter YMCA, Amon Carter Museum of Science and History, Parks and Recreations, and the local Lions Youth Sports Association. All organizations are aligned with providing engaging activities that will increase engagement and attendance by creating a sense of belonging and by cultivating community within the school environment. Students who feel a sense of belonging at school are more engaged and are set up for long-term success, both academically and emotionally. Transportation has been included in the grant to provide opportunities to visit such facilities outside the district that provide engaging learning opportunities in which families may not be able to visit.

All activities outlined in the submitted grant narrative contribute to academic and overall student success. Instructional activities, homework help, and high impact tutoring will personalize each student's learning based on their specific needs. Materials that will be utilized during instruction are all high quality instructional materials or based on high yield strategies. The enrichment activities will build student interest, character, and self awareness of their learning while field trips and activities of choice will improve engagement, therefore improving attendance in school. Family engagement activities will make families aware of student performance and provide ways families can support their child’s learning.

As stated on the TEA website, “Approximately $56,688,672 is available for this grant program, and approximately 40 grants are anticipated to be awarded. Grant awards are expected to range from $250,000 to $2,000,000 each year of the five-year project period.”

If awarded the grant, the initial allotment will be awarded for the 2023-2024 school year, continuing through July 31, 2028. To view the submitted grant application, contact the Castleberry ISD Superintendent’s Office at 817.252.2005.