Learning Centers Tie Curriculum to the Arts

July 30, 2004
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 attending the Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) program in nine Title I schools during the mornings this summer have had the opportunity to participate in Community Learning Centers, a special arts-oriented afternoon program that includes family and recreational activities.

These Community Learning Centers are funded by a three-year 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) grant through the Maryland State Department of Education. The participating schools benefiting from the $1.8 million grant are among those with the highest poverty levels in Montgomery County.

The Community Learning Centers offer students cultural arts, recreation, and family literacy activities that complement the academic enrichment curriculum provided by Montgomery County Public Schools during the morning ELO program. The school-based centers are the result of a partnership among Montgomery County Public Schools and four local arts and social services organizations.

· The Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council provides a program of arts projects and activities guided by resident artists. The activities link to the academic curriculum and provide a more varied context for learning.

· The Montgomery County Department of Recreation provides recreational programs that nurture physical and social skills.

· Linkages to Learning provides social services to families in five of the schools and will expand services to the other schools over the course of the grant period.

· The Collaboration Council of Montgomery County coordinates extended child care services in the schools and other locations.

The summer learning centers have been serving as a model for the expansion of after school services during the regular school year.

Participating elementary schools include Broad Acres, Gaithersburg, Harmony Hills, Highland, Kemp Mill, Rosemont, Summit Hall, Wheaton Woods, and Weller Road. Burnt Mills Elementary School will begin participation in the upcoming school year.

For more information, contact:

Chrisandra Richardson, director
MCPS Division of Academic Support, Federal and State Programs

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