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April 23, 2002

SDE to Hold Regional Forums on 21st Century Centers

(Santa Fe, NM)- Parents, community and faith-based organizations, educators, school district personnel and civic and business people from the Roswell area are invited to attend a regional forum on Thursday, May 2, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., sponsored by the New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE), on after-school, evening, weekend and summer activities for local children in grades K-12 through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. The forum will be held at Eastern New Mexico University, Occupational Technology Center, Room 124, located at 20 West Mathis.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is a competitive grant program that provides opportunities for communities to establish community learning centers that will provide opportunities for academic enrichment and literacy development. The program targets schools with concentrations of students from low-income families, with priority given to schools identified for improvement under Title I.

"The forums will provide an opportunity to share information and obtain input on the program in advance of our request for applications in November. Our goal is to provide academic enrichment activities to help students meet educational standards. The focus of the program, which is for students and their families, is on student achievement," said Jennifer Yahn, the SDE's program director.

Program awards, which must be at least $50,000, will be announced in May 2003. Awards will be for a period of not less than three years and not more than five years.

The program was formerly administered by the U.S. Department of Education and, as a result of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), will be administered by the SDE.

Six forums are scheduled across New Mexico between April 24 and May 2. The dates and locations for the forums are: April 24, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute; April 25, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at West Las Vegas Public Schools, Middle School Cafeteria; April 30, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the University of New Mexico Gallup Campus, Calvin Hall Auditorium; and May 1, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at Onate High School, Performing Arts Center, in Las Cruces and Tucumcari Public Schools, High School Auditorium in Tucumcari.

For more information, contact Jennifer Yahn at (505) 827-1233.