PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Education Department says applications are available for grants to support after-school programs that provide students with academic activities.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grants are awarded for five years in amounts of $50,000 to $150,000 a year. The grants are funded by the federal government and must go to programs offered outside of regular school hours.

The programs are intended to help students from high-poverty areas and low-performing schools.

Sue Burgard of the state Education Department says programs funded by the grants give students a safe, fun and educational place to go after school.

Grant applications must be submitted to the department by Feb. 28.

Information is available online.

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