ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - St. Cloud Area School District has picked up a new grant.

The $2.5 million Full-Service Community Schools grant from the U.S. Department of Education is one of 30 awarded nationwide and the only grant awarded in the state of Minnesota.

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Superintendent Laurie Putnam says the grant funding will be used for two community schools.

We are thrilled and hopeful for the ways we will be able to positively impact student outcomes with the help of our community partners. The grant will allow us to launch two Full-Service Community Schools that will be located at Discovery Community School and North Junior High School.

Putnam explains a community school adds to the overall education experience with other enrichment activities before and after school. In addition, the school also serves as a resource for the student's family.

While the students are getting some of those enrichment activities, we'll have partners like Career Solutions, or St. Cloud Federal Credit Union there who might help a family with job training, job applications, and business and personal finance skills. We'll have the Ellison Center there for parenting classes. So our focus is on students, but we can't ever sort of separate our students from our family.

Officials say services like nutritional, dental, vision, and mental health are critical for academic growth. The grant funding will be used to provide those resources.

The United Way of Central Minnesota is among the 20 community partners named as participants in the grant.

Year one of the grant is designated for core planning, which officials say will begin in January.

Read the U.S. Department of Education news release here.




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