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The $1.1 million grant will leverage a $1.3 million grant awarded in 2014 by Choice Neighborhood Initiative. Since 2014, STEM has been incorporated into each school day at Dunbar and Duckrey with hands-on projects. This work has been led by James Davis (Principal Investigator), professor of higher education and Meghan Raisch, assistant director who will oversee the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant.
 
The $1.1 million CCLC grant will provide further resources to increase the chances that the 250 Kindergarten-8th grade students are accepted to magnet high schools, which will support students’ preparation for postsecondary education. 
 
Davis describes this grant as an opportunity to foster, “Strategic alignment across partnerships to  a collective impact model.” The CCLC grant’s out-of-school time (OST) structure aims to help students build a strong skill set to ensure each child is given an equal opportunity.
 
The OST programs will run on weekdays from 3:15-5:30 p.m. The first hour will consist of homework, then the students will break for snack-time, and lastly work on the STEAM projects. The teachers at Dunbar and Duckrey will work until 5:30 p.m. to create a strong support system for students. The CCLC grant will supply jobs to Temple graduate students as well as the School District of Philadelphia employees to assist in monthly Saturday programs and a six-week summer program held at Carver High School. The strategic location was chosen to help students adjust as well as envision themselves in high school. Parents will also partake in this program by attending college access meetings to encourage parent commitment and help keep the momentum going once students reach high school.
 
Raisch describes CCLC grant’s ability to greatly impact the futures of Dunbar and Duckrey students and their families as, “One grant leveraging another to help lift communities.” 
 
The CCLC grant aims to address critical areas of learning. For example, algebra is a critical subject area required for admission into magnet high schools, yet some schools do not offer algebra in eighth grade. The OST focus will focus on offering algebra to enhance students’ academic preparation. The program also acknowledges that not every student will pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Thus, the arts is included to enhance creative problem solving. This addition to the OST program will expand students’ career options. 
 
President of Steppingstone Scholars Inc., Sean Vereen, explains his excitement to partner with the College of Education at Temple University to impact hundreds of lives. “By partnering with the College of Education we have secured an amazing opportunity through the 21st Century Learning Center Grant. We believe that to help more children we need to partner with anchor institutions like College of Education to bring integrated academic, enrichment, and mentoring programs to schools and children. We are now closer than ever, because of our work with the College of Education to providing a K-12 path to college and career for children in North Philadelphia.”
Author: 
Breanna Pegula