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Miller, Schweyer, Schlossberg, Siegel and Allentown SD Superintendent Applaud Education Funding Grants

ALLENTOWNApril 2, 2024 – Sen. Nick Miller and State Reps. Peter Schweyer, Mike Schlossberg and Josh Siegel announced today new funding totaling $2.2 million in education funding grants heading to the Allentown School District.

“Anytime we can provide after school programming and enrichment opportunities for our students, it is a winning opportunity. These funds will go a long way in allowing the Allentown School District to invest significantly in our students’ success, which means they are investing in our community’s future,” Schweyer said. “Twenty-first Century Programming offers our kiddos help with core subjects like reading and math, but also with lots of enrichment activities that can help build learning skills and make education fun.”

This five-year grant program will allow the district to continue and expand extended day learning opportunities at 12 schools. As a result of these funds, all schools in the Allentown School District will have 21st Century Programs.

For the 2024-25 school year, every child in the Allentown School District will be able to access high quality intervention and enrichment at their schools through 21st Century Programming. Additionally, this funding will allow the district to provide students unique and exciting afterschool enrichment paired with targeted academic support, homework help and credit recovery.

“Students in the Allentown School District deserve access to world-class education opportunities students in wealthier districts have,” said Schlossberg. “A 21st century economy requires education that taps into the creativity and energy of our students before school and after school so they can enjoy learning. When we make these investments, students, families, taxpayers and communities reap the benefits for years to come.”

“I’m deeply grateful to the Shapiro administration’s continued commitment to investing in our public education system and ensuring students in Allentown have the support network they need to reach their fullest potential,” Siegel said. “A strong public education is the cornerstone of our democracy and society. The $2.2 million in 21st Century Community Learning Grants will help the Allentown School District provide critical wraparound services to children who need it most, both inside and outside of the classroom, providing them with quality nutrition, tutoring and helping connect them to employers and jobs.

“Investments in afterschool programs ensure that our communities thrive, our children are safer and set-up for success, and parents are engaged partners in their child’s future,” Siegel continued. “I will continue to advocate for annual funding for afterschool programs like these in Pennsylvania’s budget, so that we can expand their promise to so many more children and ensure reliable and reoccurring investments in the future of our state. They are one of the best investments our state can make.”

“Places like the Allentown School District have been historically underfunded and many of our students have not had access to basic educational necessities, like art, financial literacy, physical education and music,” Miller said. “This funding will go a long way in introducing and enhancing programs that provide a well-rounded educational experience and develop these bright students into hardworking and accomplished adults.”

In addition to the state legislators comments, Dr. Carol Birks, superintendent for the Allentown School District, had this to say:

“The Allentown School District is thrilled to have been awarded four Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Cohort 12 grants,” said Birks. “We are so thankful to our local legislators who continuously advocate for the students, staff and families in the Allentown School District.”

The 21st Century Community Learning Grants program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local academic standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

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