Funds Awarded for New 21st Century Community Learning Center

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education has been awarded an additional $150,000 from the Illinois State Board of Education to establish another 21st Century Community Learning Center site at the King Middle School in Kankakee.

The money will provide after-school programming for students and adults. The I-KAN Regional Office currently operates 21st Learning Centers in conjunction with St. Anne High School, Kankakee High School, Kankakee Junior High School, Steuben Elementary School, Aroma Park Primary, Thomas Edison Primary, Mark Twain Primary and Lafayette Primary schools.

The award was presented to Debra Baron, director of the Pledge for Life Partnership, and Marie Cardosi, director of student services for the I-KAN Regional Office of Education, on July 16 at the Lynne Thigpen Elementary School in Joliet. Baron and Cardosi will serve as co-directors of the program.

Approximately $16.8 million in federal funds was made available to the state for FY05 and will provide programming for 130 schools in 35 districts across Illinois.

“After school programming provides a wide variety of activities for kids, families, schools and the community. They keep kids safe and smart,” said Kay Pangle, I-KAN regional superintendent of schools. Pangle has served on the Illinois After-School Initiative Task Force since its inception in 2001.

“While 21st Century Community Learning Center programs are targeted to students in need of additional academic assistance, these programs are good for all kids. Statistics show that youth involved in positive out-of-school time activities make fewer negative choices and do better in school,” she added.

The Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education will operate this site in partnership with Kankakee School District No.111 and the Pledge for Life Partnership. Community volunteers and youth organizations are being recruited to work with the schools to assist with tutoring, mentoring and providing additional educational and recreational activities for students and their parents.

Last year, more that 800 youth and adults were served by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers administered by the I-KAN Regional Office. Programming at King Middle School will begin this fall and is open to all King Middle School students and their families. For more information, contact the Pledge for Life Partnership at 936-4606

The Pledge for Life Partnership

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A Pledge for Life Partnership Initiative
1 Stuart Drive
Kankakee, IL 60901