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FROM STAFF REPORTS

MARBLE FALLS — Students at three Marble Falls Independent School District campuses will enjoy some extra support in the coming years thanks to a significant influx of cash.

The Texas Education Agency recently announced MFISD landed a Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant. The funding comes to $700,000 over a five-year period.

“This is exciting news. Out of approximately 340 applications, only 19 in Texas were selected,” said Rob O’Connor, MFISD superintendent. “We’re constantly looking for creative funding sources to supplement lower state budget contributions, so for this grant, we partnered with Burnet (Consolidated Independent School District) and applied as a Burnet County consortium to benefit students across our county.”

In MFISD, Highland Lakes Elementary School, Marble Falls Middle School and Marble Falls High School students will garner benefits from new before and after-school programs. These include math and reading tutoring, literacy development opportunities and enrichment activities.

The purpose of this particular grant is to provide opportunities beyond the regular school day for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers, officials said.

During the application process, officials with both BCISD and MFISD reached out to local organizations such as Harmony School of Creative Arts, the Boys & Clubs of the Highland Lakes and Literacy Highland Lakes to join them on the grant and provide additional enrichment and academic learning experiences.

The federally-funded grant, which flows through the state, would cover programs’ cost as well as transportation to and from after-school classes.

“We’re excited that the district has been awarded the grant,” said MFMS Principal John Schumacher. “This grant will not only provide our students in need of intervention support, it will also provide enrichment activities for students who want to pursue enhancing personal interests. It’s terrific that all students on these campuses will be able to take advantage of the programs offered. Activities may range from developing art skills, counseling, learning to play an instrument, drug and violence prevention and recreational activities.”

MFISD officials said specific activities will be announced in August when potential program teachers return for the 2013-2014 academic year.

As more details become available, officials will post them on the MFISD website’s home page.

editor@thepicayune.com