An Exciting New Name Change

TrueNorth’s Newaygo County Out-of-School Time programs, Engage! at Patricia St. Clair Elementary and David C. Outwin Middle School, and R.E.A.C.H. at White Cloud Elementary and White Cloud Jr. High, are now part of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Project FOCUS (For Our Children’s Ultimate Success) programs. Their new official name is Project FOCUS Rural Grit.

Michigan’s Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding is through a competitive grant application with the Michigan Department of Education and is part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In partnership with White Cloud Public Schools and Hesperia Community Schools, TrueNorth applied for the grant in March and received notification in June that the grant proposal was awarded. The grant will provide $245,000 for each district’s afterschool program for just over $2.5 million for five years. 

The purpose of the 21st CCLC program is to provide federal funds to support the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during out-of-school hours. The program helps students meet state and local academic standards in core subjects and offers a broad array of enrichment activities that complement their regular educational programs. The program’s success lies in strong partnerships with the school districts, as all work together to provide a caring, safe, and supportive environment for children after school. The funding also allows for a six-week summer program in both districts.  

“The 21st CCLC funding will be a huge asset for our rural communities. Providing structured out-of-school time programming for students will give them the much-needed homework help and enrichment experiences they may not get otherwise. It can definitely be a game-changer in the trajectory of the lives of these students,” said Hesperia school board member Mark Kraus, who is also part of the Project FOCUS Rural Grit Collaborative Advisory Committee. 

For more information or to apply for Project FOCUS Rural Grit at Hesperia or White Cloud, please reach out to Danielle Siegel, Youth Programs Director, at or call (231) 942-0641, ext. 109.