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STEM Outreach Center awarded $26.5 million to continue after-school programming

The STEM Outreach Center at NMSU received a five-year grant totaling $26.5 million to continue and extend support for much-needed after-school programs in school districts in Doña Ana, Grant and Hidalgo counties.

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, offered through the New Mexico Public Education Department, increased the number of learning centers the STEM Outreach Center serves from 26 to 47. As part of the grant, Hobbs Municipal Schools received funding from the STEM Outreach Center for their out-of-school-time programs, serving an additional 17 schools.

“This grant speaks to our history of providing good-quality systems and programs,” says Wanda Bulger-Tamez, director of the STEM Outreach Center. 

STEM Outreach Center programs provide academic and enrichment opportunities to support literacy and science, technology, engineering and math learning, and reinforce topics introduced during the students’ traditional learning day. 

The STEM Outreach Center is partnering with school districts and organizations such as Ngage New Mexico, Cruces Creatives, STEAMing Ahead for Success and La Semilla Food Center to provide a wide range of community resources. The STEM Outreach Center is the largest consortium in the state receiving 21st CCLC funding, and is among the largest in the nation to receive a 21st CCLC award.

Students participate in the STEM Outreach Center's Readers Theater program. The center was recently awarded $26.5 million to continue its programs in three New Mexico counties.