Ga. Boys & Girls Clubs awarded $15M grant to address learning gaps

Education

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Boys & Girls Clubs across the state are getting a much-needed helping hand. Governor Brian Kemp announced $15 million will be awarded to address learning gaps caused by the pandemic.

After an unusual year dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club is making sure the kids are bridging the gap created by virtual learning this past school year.

“You can tell it was kind of trying for everybody,” Executive Director Vincent DelMonte said.

State leaders have noticed how hard this time has been on students so the $15 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds will go to Boys & Girls Clubs across the state. The grant will serve an average cost of $1,550 per child.

“This is so awesome. Of course, we still want to make sure there’s a huge focus on education,” DelMonte said.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia have done a remarkable job of serving the needs of youth across the Peach State,” said Governor Kemp. “With this GEER funding, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia will be able to further enhance student academic achievement by addressing educational gaps caused by the pandemic. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this funding has on youth across the State of Georgia.”

The millions of dollars will help a total of 9,000 children. The goal of the program is to ensure 65 percent of students below grade level will return to grade level by the end of the program and 35 percent show an increase in progress.

“The details have yet to be ironed out, but we know for us it’s still going to be a significant amount. We can do so much with this and really take care of the kids,” DelMonte said.

He’s hoping they can hire teachers to give more individual help and provide transportation to serve more kids.

“That’s one of our challenges. We have a small bus and we have to make many runs with it to get the kids here,” he said.

DelMonte said it’s a huge help from the state he wasn’t expecting and something to help put these kids on the right path forward.

The funding period is between June 2021 through Sept. 2022. $4 million will go toward the grant kick-off and summer costs for 2021, $7 million will go toward the 2021-2022 school year costs, and $4 million will go toward summer 2022 and the grant closeout.

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