Nisswa Elementary School was recently awarded a $259,000 federal grant to develop an after-school reading center designed to help children who are struggling to learn to read.
Nisswa Principal Erin Suemnick told the Brainerd School Board Monday that Nisswa is a recipient of a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant for $259,000. The school will receive $98,722 starting July 1, then $79,684 next year and $80,765 in 2002. Suemnick said a program coordinator will be hired this summer to develop the community learning center and its activities.
Suemnick said the main reason why the school received the grant was because of the research that it has already put into developing a community children's library with the Nisswa Navigators. The school was only one of 300 schools in the country to receive a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. About 2,000 proposals were reviewed for consideration for the grants.
The school's plan is to expand literacy opportunities for all ages by developing reading programs before and after school, on weekends, evenings and during the summer.
The grant will provide educational opportunities for youths, help the district provide programs to meet and exceed the Minnesota graduation standards in core subjects and strengthen and create new activities for citizens and guests of the Nisswa area, she reported.
Suemnick said there are four goals -- extend the goals of the Nisswa Enhanced Reading Foundation to provide literacy programs for individuals preschool through adult; offer programs and support for underserved youth, ages 0-5, and their families; provide purposeful intergenerational collaboration; and create a technology center for children, families and community members of all ages to acquire and practice technology skills and access information on the Internet.
One of the programs Suemnick plans to initiate in July is called "Fast ForWord," a video game program developed by Scientific Learning Corp. of California. This program aids children, who cannot process the sounds of language fast enough, to comprehend normal speed.
The Nisswa school is in the process of securing funding for a new community children's library. If the project is developed and able to be built within the next two years, said Suemnick, then the new community learning center program will be based in the new library.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.