For the third time, Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri has been awarded two 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants, totaling $800,000 for the 2017-2018 school year.

The 21CCLC program, authorized under Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a granted through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This highly competitive five-year grant will help fund afterschool programs in Sedalia, Cole Camp, Green Ridge, La Monte, Leeton and Smithton.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work our staff have put in to make this grant possible,” said Executive Director Gary Beckman. “BGCWCM has a reputation, not just in Sedalia, but across Missouri as providing high-quality afterschool care for children.”

BGCWCM was informed of the grant on Sept. 15 and will immediately begin the process of recruiting, hiring and training additional part-time staffers so BGC membership levels can grow.

“I want to especially thank our Boys & Girls Club parents who have been very gracious and patient dealing with the wait lists we had to put in place to start the school year,” Beckman said. “We are working hard to start hiring more part-time Youth Development Professionals and Site Assistants, and once staffing levels are in place we will be able to open the wait lists.”

Beckman expected to open up membership numbers by mid-October and encouraged parents to speak to their local Site Managers for updated information.

The new 21CCLC grant will make up approximately 36% of BGCWCM’s overall budget and will include funding for three new programs: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), Coding for the Future and Life Skills.

“For nearly 60 years, BGCWCM has provided children a safe, stable, fun and educational place to go when school is not in session,” said Board President Matt Melville. “We are happy to be able to continue to provide the high-quality programs our families have come to know and expect.”