$2M grant increases learning opportunities for kids outside the classroom

SPOKANE, Wash. — Many summer camps are in full swing at various Spokane Public Schools. These camps keep kids engaged and stimulated, so they don’t lose valuable learning when Fall rolls around. Now, programs like this will continue into the school year to better serve students.

“We’re offering things to our families that we haven’t been able to offer before,” said Penny Capko, the Principal Assistant at Logan Elementary.

The Northeast Community Center Association was awarded a $2 million grant and is partnering with four Spokane public schools and Communities in Schools of Spokane County to expand programming. Lidgerwood Elementary, Logan Elementary, Garry Middle School and Shaw Middle School will all have two hours of additional after-school activities for students.

“We get greater outcomes, and we get better attitudes and grades improve,” said Nathan Hamilton, the Site Coordinator for Logan Elementary. “That’s purely based on relationships that they have with teachers and the people they get to meet in these programs.”

Aaliyah Shogran has been attending camp this summer. She’s enjoyed making new friends and having a safe place to spend the day.

“My mom works in the day and so does my dad, so if I wouldn’t have came to camp then I would’ve been at home in the hot house,” she said. “You can learn a lot of things [in camp], and it’s really fun.”

This summer, students have taken field trips, participated in sporting events and have sharpened their reading and writing skills. These types of opportunities will continue next Fall to keep them on track.

“If students are not able to do the reading and the writing, then they lose the learning and it takes longer to catch up in the Fall,” Capko said.

The new funding also helps families with younger kids. One of the barriers to getting kids to participate in programs is if there are young kids in the house. Working parents may have their older kids stay home and watch them if they can’t afford or find care. Now, child care is a part of the afterschool programs. This way, young kids can also benefit.

As schools get ready to launch these after-school activities, they want family’s input on what types of programming they’d like to see.

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