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Irvine Grant Helps LB Groups, Schools

The James Irvine Foundation recently launched a $14 million effort--$2 million per year for seven years--to boost achievement at five elementary schools in the Long Beach Unified School District. CORAL, or Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning, brings 15 community organizations together with a lead agency, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. CORAL will provide extra academic and recreational activities for students and their families at various community sites and at International, Henry, Whittier and Willard elementary schools, plus the Stevenson YMCA Community School. The seven-year effort will serve about 5,500 students. Funding will go toward high-quality, after-school and extended-school-day activities linked with the school district’s academic standards. Among the participating agencies is Long Beach BLAST, or Better Learning After School Today. BLAST, which recently launched efforts at Washington and Franklin middle schools, recruits and trains college students and adult volunteers to work with after-school programs, tutoring in English, science, art, computers and other subjects. Other participating agencies include Artists Reaching Kids, Aquarium of the Pacific, Buffum Downtown YMCA, Camp Fire USA, CSULB Department of Social Work, Girl Scouts, Homeland Cultural Center, International Center for Education and Sports, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach Parks and Recreation, Long Beach Public Library, Ocean Challenge, Police Athletic League, and Thank Goodness It’s Today.