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Local agency grants $500,000 for services at three Marshalltown schools

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - Staff and students at Rogers, Woodbury and Anson elementary schools are set to see $500,000 a year in federal grant money. That funding will pay for four new positions through Mid-Iowa Community Action which will work to improve services to students, their families and the community.

Five hundred thousand dollars a year.

That’s how much Mid-Iowa Community Action is set to spend in federal grant money over the next five years to provide coordinators to help connect Anson, Rogers and Woodbury elementary students and their families with needed services.

“These three buildings had the highest percentages of students affected by the conditions of poverty,” said MICA Community Development Director Clarissa Thompson, using 2017-18 data. “This funding source allows programs or schools or community partners to expand, coordinate and enhance services to improve academic success.”

The federal Full-Service Community School Grant was awarded to MICA in late July. The agency was one of 121 applicants, out of which 15 winners were announced.

The grant money will pay for four new positions through MICA, including three bilingual coordinators and an attendance specialist, who will work with district staff, parents and students.

The goal of those positions will be to improve students’ readiness for school, academic proficiency, parent engagement and more. Thompson said MICA intends to use the new support to expand the Bobcat University summer learning program to provide more teachers and more learning time.

Another program she said is planned to expand is Abriendo Puertas, “Opening Doors” in English, which provides leadership and parent training.

District Superintendent Theron Schutte said the MICA coordinators will work with counselors, principals, social workers and others to help students and families access resources they need. Thompson said parents could be connected with programs outside the schools.

“For example, MICA implements a low-income energy assistance program that you have to go to a different location to get, but could we create a way for families to use the school or another way to offer that kind of service?” she said.

The grant funding will be effective through Sept. 30, 2023.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com

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