NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Four local schools will benefit from funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Education for expansion and to increase support.

The Department of Education announced $63 million in funding for five-year Full-Service Community Schools grants awarded to 42 schools across the country.

A total of $2,393,488 in funding will benefit four North Country school districts, representing 30% of their total project costs.

Belleville Henderson Central School received one of only five nationwide grants to schools for planning and development.

The Fort Drum Regional Full-Service Community School Consortium grant will also serve staff, students and families in the Copenhagen, LaFargeville, and Sackets Harbor school districts.

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The Community Schools grant will fund a partnership among the four districts, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES to provide service including tutoring, mental health services, nutrition services, after-school programming and parent engagement.

Community Schools are an essential component of accelerating our students’ learning and supporting their social, emotional, and mental health, and deepening community partnerships. Community schools connect students and families with vital nutrition assistance, mental, physical, and other health services, and expand learning opportunities. We know that students learn best when there is a comprehensive and holistic approach to meeting their needs.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona

Leadership at the local schools and organizations partnering under the Community Schools grant expressed their appreciation for the funding and the chance to impact the lives of students and the community.

This year’s grant competition received the largest number of applications in the program’s history.