Learning doesn’t stop when the school bell rings at the end of the day. But districts across the country are struggling with the same problem — how do you provide after-school programming, on a budget?
Some districts, like the Lansingburgh Central School District, have found their answer in 21st Century grant funding provided by the federal government.
The grant provides $400,000 each year for five years. That has enabled Lansingburgh to offer afterschool programming for more than 70 students.
Antonio Abitabile, the superintendent of the Lansingburgh Central School District, believes the funding will also help keep students out of trouble.
“One of the things that it will do for us is provide a safer environment after school. As we know, kids are always looking for things to do after school,” says Abitabile.
Photography is one of the electives students can now participate in thanks to the grant funding. For many of the students, it is the first time they have picked up professional camera equipment.
“I think it’s really important to kind of stop, slow down, take a look at the normal things in life that most people over look,” says photography instructor Tom Williams.
Besides photography, students are getting the chance to participate in things like boxing. The boxing club started a year ago thanks to stimulus funds. Now with the five year 21st Century grant, the program has a bit of stability.
All of this helps to create a holistic approach to learning and make kids excited about their education.
“You want your kids to want to come to school and you want to be able to provide exposure and experiences for them that make that possible,” says Abitabile.