Columbia Heights schools, rec department receive $750,000 grant

Columbia Heights Public Schools and the Columbia Heights Recreation Department will expand out-of-school programming for CHPS students and residents who live within the district boundaries thanks to a Minnesota Department of Education 21st-Century Community Learning Center Grant totaling a minimum of $750,000.

Thanks to a grant worth at least $750,000, students and residents of Columbia Heights will be eligible for extended learning opportunities focused on technology, arts, environmental studies, health/fitness and academic support. (Submitted photo)

The 21CCLC grant focuses on students grades 5-12, but due to funding from additional sources CHPS will be able to offer free ENCORE out of school time program for students in grades 1-12 beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

The grant was co-written by CHPS Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel, Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik and was jointly submitted by Columbia Heights Public Schools and Columbia Heights Recreation Department.

ENCORE offers extended learning opportunities focused on technology, arts, environmental studies, health/fitness and academic support. ENCORE will be available weekends, before school, after school and through the summer months at each of the district’s five schools and through the City of Columbia Heights Recreation Department.

ENCORE students will code their own computer programs, learn water safety and survival, solve complex engineering problems, express themselves artistically by creating pottery and gain an academic boost. All of the offerings are designed to provide students with the skills they will use to be successful in college and careers.

The 21st-Century Community Learning Center Grant is funded at $250,000 a year with a minimum of three and up to five years. CHPS and the Columbia Heights Recreation Department are also partnering with Computer Explorers, Spark-Y, Northern Clay Center and the St. Paul Conservatory.

For more information, to include 2017-18 ENCORE offerings, visit colheights.k.12.mn.us/Encore or contact CHPS Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel at 763.528.4514 or [email protected] or City of Columbia Heights Recreation Director Keith Windschitl at 763.706.3732 or [email protected]