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Boys & Girls Clubs Of St. Joseph County Gets $7.7 Million Grant

Lauren Chapman/IPB News


The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County is getting a $7.7 million grant from the Indiana Department of Education. Starting in the fall, the club will offer free after school programming for South Bend, Mishawaka and Career and Success Academy students.


The new program, which is called STRIVE, will focus on four key areas: literacy, math fluency, social and emotional learning and college and workforce readiness. 


Robinson Community Learning Center, Riverbend Math, MindfulU, Rise Entrepreneurship, LOGAN and Partnership for Children will partner with the club to develop curriculum.


As part of the new programming, the club is hiring more than 60 youth development professionals and expanding from 11 to 23 locations.


Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County chief executive officer Jacqueline Kronk said the grant is a tremendous opportunity, and they’re going to need lots of new volunteers.


“We’re going to need an entire community effort to ensure its success,” Kronk said. “If someone’s out there listening, this is your call to action. We need you. We need you to step up, we need you to be present for those in our community so that our young people are best equipped to succeed moving forward.”


School City of Mishawaka superintendent Wayne Barker is also excited. He says the grant is “amazing” and will directly impact local families.


“First of all, for our families it’s going to provide free care,” Barker said. “And not only just care, the STRIVE part of the programing focused on academics, social and emotional learning — those things are also obviously going to be very helpful to the children that we serve.”


The grant, which runs for two years, comes from the new Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund created by Indiana House Act 1008 in April 2021.


Other local grant recipients include the Central Indiana Educational Service Center with $2.6 million, BloomBoard, Inc. with $1.5 million, the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen with $756,216, Complete Tutoring & Mentoring with $541,345 and La Casa de Amistad with $123,497.


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Jakob Lazzaro came to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.