PASCO, WA — Educational Service District 123 is the proud recipient of a new 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant awarded by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The newest 21st Century cohort, “Shaping the Future,” is the 10th cohort established with ESD 123 and focuses on serving diverse communities with different challenges in three cities: Prosser, Benton City, and Kennewick.

Over the next five years, the grant will fund programs aimed at supporting students, connecting families with the schools, and narrowing the opportunity gap. The cohort sites will be located at Housel Middle School in Prosser, Kiona-Benton Primary and Intermediate Elementary Schools in Benton City, and the Apostolic Youth Center, serving Amistad and Eastgate Elementary Schools, in Kennewick. These areas have growing populations of minority families, many of whom are Hispanic migrant workers wishing to secure a better future for their children.

Margarita Alaman, 21st Century Program Director at ESD 123, says that the goal is to create connections between the families and the school, while aiding them in their pursuit of a better way of life.

“The families we will be serving chose to settle with dreams of securing a better future for their children,” states Alaman. “Meanwhile, the concepts of ‘school readiness’ and ‘parents as their child’s first teacher’ are unknown concepts for many. In collaboration with many other ESD Departments, we can collaboratively approach these needs.”

The 21st Century sites will complement and support the schools’ limited after-school programs by offering homework/tutoring help, snacks, academic and enrichment activities, career development, social emotional learning development, financial literacy, and more. Staff training in Adverse Childhood Experiences, resilience, youth mental health first aid, and curriculum for youth and families is also planned.

For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, Communication & Graphics Coordinator, at 509.544.5787 or