ST. CLOUD -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota is getting a big funding boost as the school year gets going.

The Norman C. Skalicky Foundation is donating $250,000 to help the clubs support their Project Learn program. Mark Sakry is the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota. He says Project Learn is used in all three clubs and 15 Kidstop sites.

"What it does is takes everyday recreational activities with kids and helps it become productive for their academic progress. For example, a basketball game, instead of scoring by two, we can score by seven. So seven, two baskets are 14, three baskets are 21 points and the kids are having fun learning their multiplication tables, while they take part in activities."

Project Learn also incorporates painting, dancing, making music, board games, and other sports into learning exercises through activities. The Boys and Girls Clubs also focus on tutoring and STEM programming.

Funding will also go toward a partnership between St. Cloud's Apollo High School and the Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club.

In July, a fire broke out at the high school and caused smoke damage to about 40 classrooms. District 742 announced last month, that Apollo students will be put on an every other day school schedule. Sakry says with this donation the Roosevelt Club will be able to help students on the "off" days by providing technology services.

"Students are going to attend a day at school, and then they have to work from home or a community place like the Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club on those other days. That's how we'll make sure this partnership benefits the kids and keeps them on track."

District 742 hopes to have the classrooms cleaned up by October so the school can return to its normal schedule.

Norm Skalicky is the CEO of Stearns Bank. He at Stearns Bank, when they find needs, they fill them.

"We are proud to support the Boys and Girls Club's back-to-school efforts that will help kids be successful all year long and we hope to make a big impact on the youth in this community through this gift."

The Boys and Girls Clubs have been working on improving the lives of youth in Central Minnesota since 1974.

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