ORWELL TOWNSHIP — Northeast Bradford School District has been awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the United States Department of Education the school announced in their latest school board meeting on Monday.

“This is a game changer for our kids,” Superintendent William Clark said on Thursday.

The $1.6 million grant will spread out over five years at $331,000 a year and will be used to increase access to quality after school and summer learning programs that provide opportunities for academic enrichment for students and opportunities for family engagement, according to a press release from the school. The grant essentially doubles the amount of money the school receives from federal sources.

Clark said that Northeast Bradford was a high poverty school, and that grants like this can help “level the playing field” for children in poverty.

The Northeast Bradford School District will use these funds to address topics such as literacy, math, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), health and wellness, physical education, agriculture, financial literacy and life skills, drug and alcohol prevention, college and career readiness, and high school credit recovery, according to the release.

Clark said that specifically the school will create a STEAM camp and literacy camp this summer, create programs through partnerships with 4-H programs, the Bradford County YMCA, Bradford County Arts Council and Pennsylvania FFA and more to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer and down times between school.

The grant does not just apply to school children, it also opens opportunities to improve the community outside of the school. Clark told the Review that literacy programs for anyone in the community as well as family engagement events will be on the horizon thanks to the grant.

“I want to thank our partners in the process of acquiring the grant, we’re thankful that we were able to secure the grant. I’m looking forward to the community of Northeast Bradford to take advantage,” Clark remarked.

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