McALLEN — The Texas Education Agency announced the 51 latest recipients of the 21st Century Community Learning Grants and six Rio Grande Valley institutions share in the funding for the 2018-19, year-one cycle.

The federally funded grants, totaling more than $64 million, aim to provide students in low-performing schools with access to supplemental programs that reinforce and compliment their every-day curriculum. According to the agency, the goal is to have these free programs available to students while school is not in session.

“The Texas Afterschool Centers on Education program … aim to improve student attendance, behavior, and academics, while providing safe supplemental learning space for students who otherwise would not have such opportunities,” the agency site states.

Qualifying for a portion of these grants are the school districts of Harlingen, Mercedes and Rio Grande City, as well as the local charter IDEA Public Schools and Texas Southmost College.

IDEA Public Schools officials announced it will be receiving $1.5 million for the 2018-19 school year.

Using these funds the schools will provide after-school programs to more than 2,000 students, which will be a mix of extracurricular and academic clubs such as mariachi, theater and robotics, a news release stated. They will also make tutoring available in core subjects including reading, mathematics, science and social studies.

“IDEA is grateful for this generous award and will use the funding to continue to increase the quality of our after-school programs and offer new and innovative educational opportunities to help our students succeed,” said JoAnn Gama, president of IDEA Public Schools, in the release.

This is the tenth cohort of institutions to receive funding which will be made available between Aug. 1, 2018 and July 2023.

The agency will also provide technical assistance and trainings to the awardees throughout the life of the award and these entities must have their programs in place by Sept. 4, 2018.

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