Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois Expanding into Eight New Locations
21st Century Grant Funding Supports New Sites in Springfield and Jacksonville
Springfield, Ill. – School-aged kids in Springfield and Jacksonville will have more options for remote learning and after-school programs come the New Year as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois (BGCCIL) expand their services with the award of the Nita M. Lowey Twenty-First Century Community Learning Center Grant. The grant, approximately $1.2 million a year for the next five years, will allow for the addition of four new sites in Springfield and will bring BGCCIL back to Jacksonville with four sites.
“We are thrilled to be able to accommodate more kids in Springfield and finally get our programming back into Jacksonville,” said BGCCIL CEO Tiffany Mathis. “This grant from the Illinois State Board of Education will make a huge impact on the services we can provide here in Central Illinois.”
The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is designed to provide academically focused after-school opportunities, particularly to students who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools, to help those students meet state and local performance standards in core academic subjects and to offer families of participating students opportunities for literacy and related educational development.
In addition to the nine sites already serving Springfield, the BGCCIL will open units at Grant Middle School, Hazel Dell Elementary, Jane Addams Elementary, and McClernand Elementary as well as four sites in Jacksonville: Jacksonville Middle School, Lincoln Elementary, South Elementary, and Washington Elementary.
“This grant award gives BGCCIL the opportunity to fulfill our mission to an even greater extent,” said Emily Bergschneider BGCCIL Chief Operating Officer. “The ability to expand our reach to four additional schools in Springfield and into a new community will mean that youth in the Central Illinois region will have another advocate for their success for years to come.”
With this expansion BGCCIL becomes the LARGEST (non-metro) Boys & Girls Club organization in Illinois, operating in 17 locations, and providing academic support and enrichment programs four days a week to over 1,700 youths.
”I was first introduced to BGCCIL when I served as its Area Director in Jacksonville from 2008-2010,” said Mathis. “Watching the deep impact that BGCCIL had on youth and families throughout Morgan, Cass, Scott and Green counties (at the time) highlighted the diverse needs that have always existed in both farming and rural communities. It means so much to me, personally, that we are able to expand back into the Jacksonville (Morgan Co.) community. I am forever grateful to Mayor Andy Ezard, District #117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek, the District #117 School Board and the entire City of Jacksonville for providing BGCCIL an opportunity to offer our services to its families, partner, and grow together as we unite our communities.”
The mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. We are positioned to serve more than 1,700 youth at our Central Unit and 16 elementary and middle schools covering two counties (Sangamon & Morgan). BGCCIL provides character building activities and academic programs designed to deliver measurable outcomes and a safe environment with caring adults. For additional information visit http://bgccil.org