Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence receives $1.16 million in grant funding

photo by: Mike Yoder

In this file photo from July 2013, AmeriCorps member Amy Hangen, lower right, reads from the book "Wayside School is Falling Down" during a summer library program time at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence at Kennedy Elementary School.

The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence recently received three grants totaling almost $1.16 million in funding, which accounts for a third of the organization’s annual revenue.

The organization received $400,000 for its 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which is funded by the Kansas State Department of Education; $400,000 for its Kidz Lit program, which is funded by the Kansas Department for Children and Families; and about $356,000 from the AmeriCorps program, which is funded by Kansas Volunteer Commission and Corporation for National and Community Service.

Hannah Coash, director of grants for the local Boys & Girls Club, said she was proud that the organization received the important funding.

“These funders receive applications from around the state and across the country, all of which are respectable organizations,” she said. “For us to not only develop lasting relationships with them, but to also grow our grant funds year after year, is a testament to the work we do.”

The $400,000 for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers will provide funding for the organization’s five learning center programs at Hillcrest, Kennedy, Prairie Park, Schwegler and Woodlawn elementary schools. The learning centers provide education and enrichment programs during nonschool hours for students struggling in certain academic areas.

The $400,000 for the Kidz Lit program will fund the expansion of the program to all 14 elementary schools in Lawrence. Last year the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence offered the reading program to seven elementary schools.

The program, for students in kindergarten through third grade, involves reading fiction and nonfiction books aloud to children to help them make connections between the stories and their lives, to increase their enjoyment of reading and to build their vocabularies.

The $356,000 for the AmeriCorps program will fund the service of AmeriCorps members who work with Lawrence Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence.

AmeriCorps members provide educational support in school and during after-school programs. Coash said the members focus on helping students in reading and math.

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