ALBION, IN—LEAP of Noble County Inc., the Literacy Empowering and Advocating Project, and a coalition of community based organizations recently received a $400,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education to launch New DAWN, an after school and out of school learning program for elementary school students and their families in the West Noble School Corporation. Funding was made available to the Department of Education through the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program (21st CCLC), a federal program authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Members of the New DAWN (New Dimensions at West Noble) coalition include LEAP of Noble County, Inc. the Celebrate Diversity Project, Drug Free Noble County, Ligonier Elementary School, the Noble County Extension Service, the Noble County Community Foundation, the Northeastern Center, and West Noble Elementary School.

“New DAWN is exactly what its name suggests, an exciting new day for the students and families in our community,” said Matt Bell, LEAP’s Executive Director. “Noble County is a community that is defining itself not by its challenges, but by collaborative solutions that are the result of community based organizations and schools marshaling their knowledge, resources, and skills to best serve this community.”

“Educators in the West Noble School Corporation are excited to be partnering with other area youth and education-oriented agencies to provide new learning opportunities for our students and parents,” Linda Owens, Ligonier Elementary School Principal, said. “New DAWN’s after school, Saturday, and summer options will be an important part of extending the learning experience.”

The New DAWN program, serving students in grade K-5 and their families, will meet four afternoons each week from 3:00-5:30 at Ligonier Elementary School and on Saturday mornings from 9a-12p

Northeastern Center Team Leader, Giberto Perez, also feels the program offers great benefits to the West Noble School Corporation Community. “Having additional support during after school hours will give students and parents additional opportunities for personal and social growth,” said Perez.

On Saturday mornings, adults will have the opportunity to participate in adult education classes including English as a New Language (ENL), Adult Basic Education, and GED preparation. Meanwhile, the children of adults in class will take part in an hour of recreational activity followed by a Spanish class. “In many ways, the program dovetails nicely with the Noble County Community Foundation’s Celebrate Diversity Project,” Dave Knopp, the Noble County Community Foundation’s Executive Director added, “and I think we’re going to see increasing examples of success breeding success because of the collaborations taking place in our county to promote education.”

Matt Bell, Executive Director, LEAP of Noble County, Inc. (260) 636-7011, or 1-888-571-5327)