Hilliard Northwest News

Grant will fund after-school learning center at Horizon


Hilliard City Schools officials say the 21st Century Learning Center planned at Horizon Elementary School will serve as a prototype for others in the district.

The district received a $600,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education, payable in $200,000 increments each of the next three years, to operate the after-school learning center at Horizon, said Jennifer Adams, director of elementary education for the district.

District officials submitted three applications for schools to the Ohio Department of Education and Horizon Elementary School was selected, Adams said.

"The learning center will be tailored to create a personalized learning environment for students," Adams said.

The after-school learning center would be open each day school is in session from the end of school day until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

"The grant can be used for the purchase (of technology), staffing, field trips and transporting students," Adams said.

There will be no construction cost, Adams said, because existing classroom space at Horizon will be transformed into the learning center.

"We hope to have the center open by the first week of October," Adams said.

The center would have capacity for about 100 students, Adams said, and would accept students from other elementary schools, likely in January, if possible.

The center would utilize a variety of services, including physical activities, intervention support and enrichment opportunities.

"The goal is to personalize education for our students based on their interests and how they need to learn," Adams said.

The center also would engage parents, Adams said.

Students who are English-language learners or enrolled in the district's free or reduced-price lunch programs are among those who could benefit, Adams said.

"We are excited that Horizon can offer this to our students," said Hilary Sloat, principal of Horizon. "We think a lot of opportunities will arise from this grant. We can continue to think and dream and make the sky the limit.

"With this grant, our kids can continue to grow and learn and improve literacy skills. I'm excited for what (the students) will achieve academically and socially."