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      Community learning centers receive more than $1.7 million for after-school programs

      Around eleven 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants totaling $1.7 million have been awarded to community learning centers statewide to serve students in 12 South Carolina schools, including Pee Dee Elementary in Conway and Main Street Elementary in Lake City.

      Each grantee will receive up to $200,000 annually for up to four years to operate a community learning center that provides a multitude of academic and enrichment activities to students before school, after school, and during the summer.

      The federally funded grants, authorized under No Child Left Behind, are awarded through a competitive process.

      The 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs began 14 years ago.

      At that time, only school districts were eligible for funding. Grants are now available for other public and private organizations, including faith-based organizations.

      Funding eligibility is extended to public school districts, individual public schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other public or private organizations.

      Also, partnerships composed of two such organizations or consortiums of partners are eligible to apply for funding.