Learning Centers get support at Shanks Middle School and Steward Street Elementary

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By The Staff

The Florida Department of Education has awarded $904,096 to Tallahassee Community College to support 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLCs) to improve K-12 student success and college readiness.
The initiative will raise achievement levels of at-risk students through research-based enrichment programs operated outside of the school day during the 2010-11 academic year and in summer 2011.  

Program activities will be implemented through a partnership composed of the Gadsden County Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Communities In Schools (CIS), Gadsden Arts Center, Jefferson County Library, North Florida Community College, University of Florida and other partners.
“The Florida Department of Education’s generous support is wonderful news for students, and reflects our partnership’s strong commitment to prepare students to succeed at the K-12 and postsecondary education levels,” said TCC President Barbara Sloan.
Sharon Jefferson, TCC vice president for Student Affairs, whose division will manage the program, said, “This funding will provide vital support for students who need it the most and can be used for academic enrichment services such as tutoring in core subjects like reading and math."
The 21st CCLC programs are located at James A. Shanks Middle School and Stewart Street Elementary School in Quincy, and at Jefferson County Elementary School and Jefferson County Middle/High School in Monticello.
The program supports centers that provide services during non-school hours for students—particularly for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools—and their families.  By providing tutoring and other academic enrichment activities along with a broad array of youth development opportunities that complement their regular academic programs, these centers help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as English language arts and math.  In addition, literacy and other educational services are offered to families of students participating in the program.
Roger Milton, TCC Quincy House manager, serves as the project director.  At Stewart Street Elementary School, Dorothy Thomas serves as the 21st CCLC site coordinator and Lisa Robinson serves as principal; at Shanks Middle School, Tyrone Smith serves as site coordinator and Juanita Ellis serves as principal; at Jefferson County Elementary School, Shirley Washington serves as the site coordinator and Valarie Thompson serves as principal; and at Jefferson County Middle/High School, Sandra Saunders serves as the site coordinator and Dr. Rodney Ryan serves as principal.
“These programs are invaluable,” Mr. Milton said.  “Partnerships like these sometimes mean the difference for our students meeting their academic goals and going on to college.”

Vice President Jefferson said the new award will build on the previous success that the partnership achieved with the 21st CCLC at Stewart Street Elementary School.  

A 2009 external evaluation of the project’s first-year performance found that the Stewart Street Elementary program is one of the most successful 21st CCLCs in Florida.
External Evaluator Larry Parman reported in April 2009:
“This evaluator has worked with over 50 21st CCLC programs in eight states.  This is one of the very best he has seen. This is even more impressive considering this is the first year of the program.  This project has very skilled and talented people in leadership positions.  

“They have a unique connection with parents and are highly respected in the community.  Project leaders and staff members are excited, enthusiastic and committed to the program.  Students and parents are treated with respect and compassion.  The project is highly organized from top to bottom.  This outstanding program could serve as a model for 21st CCLC programs throughout the state of Florida.”