After-school program to help students

    LYFORD — One of the largest state funded afterschool programs is gearing up to start next week in the district.

    The Lyford school district was awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant called the After-school Centers Education, or ACE, program in partnership with the San Benito school district.

    “San Benito will be the fiscal agent for the grant servicing seven campuses in the San Benito district and three campuses in the Lyford district,” said Jo Ann Marroquin, Lyford schools ACE program district coordinator.

    San Benito was awarded $1.8 million to fund the after-school programs over a course of three years.

    The ACE program is administered by the Texas Education Agency and is funded through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative of the U.S. Department of Education.

    “The four components of the after-school program are academic support, enrichment opportunities, family engagement and education, and college and career readiness,” Marroquin said.

    The purpose of the grant is to provide academic enrichment opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high-need, high-poverty, low-performing schools, to meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects.

    Mercedes, Donna, Weslaco and IDEA Academy also were awarded the grant.

    Mercedes was awarded $1.7 million over the next three years. The district begins its ACE program Sept. 5.

    “Mercedes ISD will be providing academic assistance to around 2,000 students after school,” said Marcos De Los Santos, Mercedes schools ACE district director. “Mercedes will service more students than most of the districts who were awarded this grant in the region.”

    De Los Santos said every district’s grant is different.

    “The way we wrote the grant was to serve the maximum amount of students that we possibly can to increase academic performance.”