By Alan Sorensen
ROCKY BOY RJS & Associates announced Thursday that it recently won $1.8 million in federal grants for Rocky Boy's and Fort Peck Indian reservations.
The grants are part of the nearly $213 million in new grants to 366 school districts in 46 states announced Jan. 3 by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. They fall under the $486 million recently appropriated by Congress for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program.
The Rocky Boy grant is for a consortium of Rocky Boy and Box Elder schools for two learning centers. It is funded in the amount of $238,468 for the first of a three-year period, with total funding at $721,726.
Five strategies will be implemented, RJS Vice President Jim Swan said:
Extended after-school activities intended to meet state and local academic standards, such as gifted and talented, extended library hours, daycare services for teen parents, computer labs, science and math enrichment activities, cultural programs, etc.;
Extended after-school and weekend activities designed by students;
Component for physically disabled students;
Cultural component with elders providing the majority of the services;
Comprehensive summer program.
The Fort Peck grant includes a consortium of the Wolf Point Public Schools, Poplar Public Schools and the Frontier School for three community learning centers. The project was funded in the amount of $350,023 for the first year of a three-year period, with total funding at $1,065,085.
Eight strategies will be implemented, Swan said, such as:
School Readiness program;
Summer Academic program;
Junior High Readiness program;
Credit Recovery Program;
Stay-in-School program for pregnant teens.
These two grants are in addition to funds secured last year for the Fort Belknap Reservation that included a consortium of the Harlem Public Schools and Hays/Lodgepole Public Schools for four community learning centers. This project was funded in the amount of $329,178 for the first year of a three-year period, with total funds at $995,006.
Other programs funded in Montana include those in Browning, Clinton, Deer Lodge, Dixon, Eureka, Glasgow, Helena, Libby, Lodge Grass and Victor.
"The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is one of the premier programs of the Clinton administration for providing a safe haven for youth during after-school hours and during the summer in order to decrease juvenile crime rates, gang activities and other risk factors associated with school violence," Swan said. "This program has enjoyed bipartisan support since its inception, which means that prospects for future funding are good. RJS is pleased that so many programs in Montana were funded at this time.
"We are especially proud of our recent track record at getting almost $2.8 million for these worthwhile projects for Indian Reservations in Montana funded. We hope to see more Montana projects funded in the upcoming competition."
The new competition, Swan said, has a closing date of March 30, 2001.
For more information about these and other grants, contact Swan at RJS & Associates, (406) 395-4757.