Students in three Columbia Gorge schools will benefit from extra learning time and enrichment programs thanks to a 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal grant.

The $292,600 grant will support high poverty students in Lyle School District’s three schools (Lyle Middle, Lyle High and Dallesport Elementary) as well as Wishram School, which serves grades K-12. All of the schools are located in Klickitat County and have limited access to Internet or other afterschool programs.

Through the grant, students will receive before and after school academic support as well as enrichment activities, including drug and violence prevention, counseling, art, music, recreation, technology, character education and field trips.

Called REACH, the program will bring local businesses and community organizations in partnership to provide experiences that focus on leadership, service, natural awareness and art.

“The program provides a safe place for students with a focus on academic support and leadership for students who don’t have access to many other activities in their community,” said Barbara Lomas, Associate Superintendent for ESD 112. “This grant will expand students vision of the world beyond their communities and into new possibilities for the future.”

The grants are distributed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and administered by ESD 112. Program partners include: the Klickitat County Health Department, Riverview Community Bank, Klickitat-Lyle Against Substance Abuse Coalition, Alpacas for Autism, Cascadia Adventure Education School, Arts in Education, and Fort Vancouver Public Library.