Lufkin ISD has received a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant in the amount of 7.5 million to be utilized over five years. In Texas, the 21st CCLC program is called the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education program, or 21st Century-Texas ACE. These programs aim to improve student attendance, behavior, and academics, while providing safe supplemental learning space for students.

“The program is an exciting addition to Lufkin ISD. The after school, before school, and summer programs provide free, safe, and engaging activities for K-5 students on their home campus,” said Shelly Slaton, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services and Accountability. 

21st Century-Texas ACE is designed to improve student performance on state assessments, core course grades, school day attendance, high school graduation rates, and college and career readiness. These expanded learning opportunities for children and their families offer innovative, hands-on activities that reinforce and complement students’ regular academic programs.  

“In addition to academics and tutoring, our students will have the opportunity to participate in innovative and enriching hands-on activities such as cooking, gardening, sports, art and so much more,” said Slaton. 

The grant will cover expenses for activities for five primary and five elementary campuses including staffing, supplies, and field trips. Transportation will also be provided for free. The staffing alone will involve 120 employees which will include teachers, paraprofessionals, and outside contracted staff through our community partners. The academic portion will be taught and prepared by Lufkin ISD teachers. 

The City of Lufkin Parks and Recreation department will provide fun activities and the Legacy Institute Generation A program will have supplemental lessons. Some of the community activities will expand learning through sports, zumba, karate, dance, cooking, art, STEM, and much more.   

“Students will benefit by building relationships with caring adults and other students while learning new skills and having fun. When students willingly want to come to school to enjoy these engaging activities, this desire will positively affect attendance, behavior, social-emotional health, and family engagement as parents will be welcomed and encouraged to participate,” said Mary Gail McCarty, Lufkin ISD Project Director for 21st Century-Texas ACE program.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing program that our district has chosen to support, which will foster a love of learning into our students and families,” McCarty said. 

The program began this week at Anderson Elementary and will add campuses in the next couple of weeks. Each of the ten campuses will allot a certain number of students, and parents can expect to receive more information from their child’s campus.