Located in and around the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center downtown, the Moving Ahead program aims to nurture resiliency to substance abuse and gang involvement in Columbia’s youth. Along with doubling their enrollment and receiving its State Licensing this year, teacher reports from April indicate impressive academic performance from the students. CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority, Phil Steinhaus says he attributes the program’s success to a grant they received from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“We applied," said Steinhause, "with other partners to a grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education called the 21 Century Learning Communities grant. It is a five year grant that helps strengthen after school programs and build partnerships with the schools.” The teacher reports indicated increased levels of reading and mathematics capabilities in addition to increases in attendance and disciplined behavior.