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RAS 21st Century Learning Center makes learning fun

Students participating in the RAS 21st Century Learning Center are finding that learning is fun.

Thanks to a federal grant, the after-school learning program at Ralph Askins School provides support and enrichment in core academic subjects, such as reading and math, but also offers a broad array of enrichment activities that make learning fun and exciting.

From building towers and skyscrapers with spaghetti noodles and Play-Doh or constructing a bridge to determine how much weight it will hold, kids will have fun learning through exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects, according to Tim Hobbs, who joins the program, now in its second year, as director and program coordinator.

He is assisted by staff members Angela Hobbs, Skylar McDonald and Renea Collins.

“I think Tim will bring an energy to the program and an excitement, and that’s one of the things we want – we want our kids to be excited about coming,” said Cindy Young, supervisor.

According to Young, the system has earned the federal grant that funds the program for four more years.

“This is not just homework help,” said Young. “It’s a learning center. We do provide homework assistance and remediation, but we also provide other enrichment activities that don’t look like regular school.”

She commended the RAS 21st Century Learning Center staff, calling them top-notch educators.

“This staff has stepped up to the plate and is willing to work,” Young said. “They’re always looking for ways to make learning fun for kids, and that’s the focus we want.”

There is no cost to parents, and the program serves students in kindergarten through fourth grades from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. A snack is provided through the cafeteria based on USDA guidelines.

“Our goal is to serve a minimum of 40 students per year through our program,” Young said, “and we hope to grow the program. We can grow it as far as we can sustain it in our facilities.”

This year, the program has started with a small group; however, plans are to have 25 or 30 students participating by fall break.

If you are interested in learning more about the program or recommending your child, please email Tim Hobbs at or Cindy Young at