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Hundreds Left Out of After School Program Due to Missed Deadline
Hundreds of local students who normally go to an after-school program for tutoring and other services do not have the option this year.
They've been left out in the cold by a problem ABC NewsChannel 20 first brought to your attention several months ago.
The person responsible for applying for grant money missed the deadline.
Five schools in Springfield's District 186 won't receive funding this year to run the after-school program for low-income or low-performing students.
The local non-profit that administers the grant to area schools didn't hand in its application for the money on time.
Until this year, when classes ended at Grant Middle School, more than 80 students would typically spend a couple of extra hours in the after school program.
"It's academic and enrichment," Grant Principal Tammie Bolden said.
"They're helped with lots of supports and activities. If they have any type of project they're working on, they'd get assistance."
Bolden said a variety of children benefit.
But, this year, the federally-funded program isn't an option at the school.
"We were notified the day we started the program," Bolden said. "They went one day, then we were informed we'd no longer have the program."
A spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Education confirmed the agency didn't receive the application for the grant from a local non-profit on time.
"That has a specific deadline," spokesman Matt Vanover said. "We give the organizations a four-to-six week window, and unfortunately for this group in Springfield, they didn't give it in time."
Vanover said demand for the 21st Century grant is high. The state received more than 100 applications.
"Every time we've had these funds, we've never been able to meet the need," he said.
The director of Title I programs at District 186 says he'll work closely with the Boys and Girls Club to complete the grant application and submit it on time in the spring.
In the meantime, Bolden is offering a two-day per week tutoring program for her students and referring some to other area organizations.
"It's a great support to parents to have them here," Bolden said.
The liaison at District 186, Larry McVey, declined an interview with ABC NewsChannel 20.
In addition to Grant Middle School, Harvard Park, Addams, Lindsay and Hazel Dell schools have also lost funding for the 21st Century program this year.
We tried to reach the project director for the grant program at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois. She did not return our phone calls.
News Channel 20 Closings and Delays
These are the latest school and business closings reported to NewsChannel 20
If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 217-753-5656.
A.C. CENTRAL SCHOOLS
EARLY DISMISSAL 1:30 PM
TRIOPIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
EARLY DISMISSAL 2:15PM
VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
EARLY DISMISSAL 1:00 PM