The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri recently applied for two 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants totaling $800,000. The Club has received notification that both grants were approved and fully funded.
“We are ecstatic to receive this news from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” said Club Executive Director Brett Barth-Fagan. “The approval of these two grants lays the cornerstone for us to continue programming at all 11 sites.” In 2007, the Club received six 21st CCLC grants totaling $1.8 million. The approval of the new grants for $800,000 is $1 million less than the initial 21st CCLC awards. In order to bridge a funding gap, fees have been implemented at all Club sites this year. The Club’s annual operating budget is approximately $2 million. The implementation of fees is a financial necessity that Barth-Fagan calls an “unfortunate reality”. That reality can easily be overcome through the generosity of the Club’s friends and corporate partners. “With partners like Sedalia-Pettis County United Way, whose campaign is currently underway, we are making progress. These grants are fantastic news for our organization, but there is still much work that needs to be done,” he said.
The Club is focused on meeting the needs of the youth in the communities it serves. “Our mission is to inspire and enable all youth to realize their full potential as caring and productive citizens,” said Barth-Fagan. “While we continue to work towards sustainability for our organization, we never lose sight of the most important component of why we exist. That is our kids.”
The grants have a unique take on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) programming through horticulture and environmental awareness. In addition, the Club will be embarking on an exciting partnership with the Center for Human Services to provide S.T.E.M. supplies and program resources. The grants are renewable for four additional years with diminishing funds. They decrease to 80 percent of their initial value in Year 4 and 60 pervent of their initial value in Year 5.