The shared visions between the Newport School District and WSU Extension, of a positive future for youth, has forged the community partnership for the design, implementation and successful completion of this 21st Century Community Learning Center grant project for our students. The core components of our proposed project includes: aligning in-school and out of school learning, identifying and responding to each individual student and their learning needs, engage and partner with families, deploy a systems approach to integrate school, home and the community in unifying educational networks and limited resources.Based on these shared values and purposes we created this educational partnership with the targeted intent of raising the academic performance of our struggling students.
Newport is the largest city in Pend Oreille County (population 13,001) and the county seat. Pend Oreille County is 66 miles long and 22 miles wide. It has a population density of only 9.3 persons per square mile compared to 101.2 in the state.
Our rural area lacks after school programs offered by youth organizations such as YMCA, YWCA, or Boys or Girls Clubs that are often found in urban areas. The only formal health/recreational center is the Kalispell Tribe’s Camas Center, twenty miles north of Newport. Our local library offers a place for students to study and use computers without any academic assistance. The area offers community and school-based sports programs for a fee. Un-fortunately, our community is lacking in organized youth activities that all students can participate in and have access to.
Pend Oreille County is comprised of more than 65% State and Federal land. Our rugged landscape that once provided logging, mining, other natural resource extraction, now serves as a retirement destination with struggling business zones, and a low income rural community searching to recover from the recent economic downturn. Unlike most other rural communities in Washington, we do not have a “have” and “have not” socioeconomic strata. We are predominantly “have not”.
Almost 30% of residents under the age of 18 live in poverty, as do more than 71% of families with children under age 5 (2010 US Census). We have approximately 1095 students K-12 and 60.7% of those students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. We are proposing two CCLC sites – one site at Stratton Elementary for students K-6 to meet the needs of 80 struggling students and one site at Newport High School for students 7-12 to meet the needs of 50 struggling students. Many of our students are well below proficiency on state and local assessments.
Our students are in need of a 21st Century Community Learning Center as are their families. We believe we have designed a 21st CCLC program that will meet the needs of our students and help them to achieve the goals we have set as well as the goals of the 21st Century Learning grant.
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