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El Paso ISD receives $2.2M to provide after-school enrichment centers

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL – Jan. 20, 2022) – U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar announced Friday at a news conference the award of $2.2 million in funding for the El Paso ISD After-School Community Learning Centers: Broadening STEAM Learning Ecosystems project.

The TX-16 Appropriation award for community project funding allows El Paso ISD to expand its partnership with the YWCA Paso del Norte Region to provide after-school learning hubs at Guillen Middle School, Tinajero PK-8, and Aoy, Cooley, Douglass, Hart and Zavala elementary schools.

“Community learning centers in Segundo Barrio and Chamizal area schools will greatly impact the lives of thousands of El Paso ISD students,” Deputy Superintendent Marta Carmona said. “Young learners at these campuses will now be given comprehensive support that aligns their daily instructional and academic pursuits with supplemental enrichment, physical fitness, fine arts, and STEAM related activities. These schools represent El Paso ISD’s campuses with the highest minority student populations, at-risk and economically disadvantaged student groups.”

The learning centers will provide focused academic tutoring to boost comprehension, physical activity components to engage and improve brain function, and character-building curriculum to provide modeling and mentorship.

“Students enrolled in the After School Community Learning Centers should achieve significant gains in academic performance, attendance, and behavior,” Carmona said. “El Paso ISD recognizes that the old model of teaching, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, is no longer a viable method to prepare students for a technology-rich digital future. Employers, and universities want students who are creative, and innovative problem solvers that can apply knowledge to new and challenging situations.”

Carmona noted the lifelong benefits of the after-school program and its potential to dramatically change the social landscape of El Paso’s south side.

“Thanks to Congresswoman Escobar’s leadership, El Paso ISD will now be able to provide learning centers that will foster a safe and productive after-school activity that not only addresses the immediate concerns of attendance, behavior, and academic performance but also helps students look to the future and develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in career and educational opportunities,” Carmona said. “For this, we are grateful and appreciative.”