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Grizzly Discovery Center, Newport's 21st Century Afterschool Program


We are excited to announce that the Newport School District and Pend Oreille County Library District have been awarded the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to fund an afterschool program for five years starting this fall.  This grant is designed to serve students in grades 1-8, with priority being given to those at risk of not meeting standards.  Risk factors considered will include, but not be limited to, poor performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, lack of supervision during the after-school hours, poverty, adverse childhood trauma, and truancy.  As the program and space allows, other students will have the opportunity to join the program.

The program will have two sites:  Stratton Elementary for Grades 1-4 and Sadie Halstead Middle School for Grades 5-8.  We have a total of 60 spots available at Stratton and with SHMS having thirty spots.  The program will run Monday-Friday from immediately after school until 5:15 PM at Stratton and 5:20 PM at SHMS.  Daily snacks and bus transportation following the modified activity bus routes are provided.

There are three major focus areas of the grant:

  1. Improving Student Academic Performance and Achievement
    • The program will provide reading and math intervention at the elementary level.
    • Middle school students will have the opportunity to receive help with homework, to review and solidify skills learned in math and language arts, and to develop study skills.
  2. Preparing students for 21st century careers through the development of STEaM skills and knowledge.
    • Both sites will offer a variety of STEM and arts classes aligned with their school day objectives and curriculum.
  3. Developing the whole child by building Social-Emotional capacity, Life Skills, and Healthy Habits.
    • Students at Stratton will consolidate their social-emotional skills development through Second Step Out-of-School Time lessons which expand upon what they are learning during the school day.
    • SHMS students will develop a positive growth mindset through daily lessons and journaling.
    • To develop fitness and their minds at the same time, students at both sites will walk as they listen to podcasts from The Walking Classroom and the Big Life Journal.
    • Every Friday will be devoted to Community Building, Life Skills, and developing Healthy Habits.

The grant also provides for monthly Family Nights with a focus on increasing the ability of parents to assist their students with continued learning and positive development.  Some of our themes will include Family Math Night, a Reading Together evening, an Hour of Code, A Starry STEaMy Night, and Healthy Family Night, to name a few.  These nights will combine learning with fun for the whole family.

A bonus for the district is that the grant provides funding for a four-week summer program that will be run this coming summer from July 10-August 4, 2023.  Generally, the program runs from 8:00 AM - noon, Monday-Friday.  Students engage in language arts and math lessons daily to prevent the summer learning slide AND we have incredible theme-based programming to round out the day.  Examples from past years include Around the World during an Olympic year in which the students learned about the language, stories, arts, games, geography, and sports from four continents of the world.  Another theme was a Summer of STEaM, which focused on STEM and arts projects.  To be eligible for the summer program, students must participate for sixty days during the school year.

Stratton Elementary is home to students in grades 1st-4th grade, and SHMS is home to students in grades 5th – 8th. The program follows the district’s calendar and operates between 2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m at Stratton and between 2:35-5:20 PM at SHMS. A four-week summer program will be offered July 10- August 4, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The school district provides modified bus transportation, breakfast, and lunch for students who attend.

The Grizzly Discovery Center is grateful for generous support from our community partners including the Pend Oreille County Library District, Community Colleges of Spokane - Newport Center, Mobius Science Center, the Kalispel Tribe, U.S. Navy Educational Outreach SeaPerch Program, CREATE Art Center, and Pend Oreille County WSU Extension.

Volunteers from our local community provide valuable support to the Grizzly Discovery Center students by leading a variety of enrichment programs. If you would like to share some of your time by tutoring students, helping them with homework or by teaching students one of your hobbies, crafts, or trades, please let us know. Whether you can volunteer multiple times throughout the year or even just an hour once in a while, the students and the Grizzly Discovery Center team would be grateful for your time.

For more information, please contact

  • Overall Program & Grades 5-8:  Program Director/SHMS Site Coordinator Vickie Blanchet at 509.671.2428 or by email at

  • Grades 1-4:  Candy Svoboda, the Stratton Site Coordinator, at 509.447.2426 ext. 2582 or by email at