Central Lee secures $1M after-school grant

Hawk's Place gets up to five years of funding


DONNELLSON – Central Lee is in line to get up to $1.1 million in funding for an after-school program that was started two years ago.

Officials at the school were notified this week that they will receive funding over the next three years to continue the program called Hawk’s Place, which is the district’s after-school program for students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

The program supports 245 students, or just over 32% of the elementary population.

Superintendent Dr. Andy Crozier said the funding will allow the program, which would in all likelihood have been cut had grant funding not been found, to continue for at least three more years.

“We’ll get about $240,000 per year for the first three years and then they come and do a comprehensive review of the program,” Crozier said.

“If we pass that review, they give us about 75% of that funding for the next two years which amounts to just over a million dollars.

We told everyone when we did this program that it would be for two years and if we didn’t secure a grant it would have to be cut.”

The grant is through the Nita M. Lowney 21st Century Community Learning Center, which gets funding from Title IV B of the Social Security Act. The funding is geared toward child welfare programming.

As part of the program, each school’s community partnerships will provide initial support, with partnerships gradually sustaining these programs as the grant funding ends.

Up to now, the program has been funded through a portion of the district’s ESSER/COVID relief funding.

“We are incredibly honored to receive the 21CLC Grant Award,” said Dr. Andy Crozier, Superintendent. “Having a fully funded after-school program will allow us to increase the number of students we serve, regardless of need. We look forward to working with our community partners to expand our after-school programming in the years to come.”

The grant will sustain the program and Crozier said he’s always looking for new ideas for the program and to add to the students that can take advantage of the system.

“This grant was written for 245 students but that doesn’t mean more kids can’t participate in the future,” he said.

“We’ll always try to find ways to get more kids involved, but right now we don’t have any specific plans to expand the program. Right now it’s 30-35% of our elementary enrollment and that’s a pretty big number.”

Schools are selected for the 21CLC grant based on a variety of factors, including student need, proposed program details, research supporting the program, and a plan to leverage community partnerships. 

“This is a critical achievement for our school district,” said Angie Fransk, Curriculum Director. “We know offering an after-school program helps Central Lee provide safe, high-quality programming for all students regardless of their socioeconomic status. This gives our families another reason to choose Central Lee for their academic needs.”

Crozier said Fransk gets full credit for securing the grant.

“I don’t think people realize the amount of work she puts in behind the scenes. We got this grant because of her.”

For more information about the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers, visit https://www.iowa21cclc.com/about-21cclc

Nita M. Lowney Century Community Learning Centers, grant, Central Lee, Angie Fransk, Andy Crozier, superintendent, child program, after-school, Pen City Current, news, education, Hawks Place


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