The Early ISD ACE program will cease operation Friday after the state denied its grant application, stripping it of funding.

An estimated 300 to 400 children will need to find a new after school and summer program after the Early ISD ACE program failed to receive its 21st Century Grant, which entirely funded the program.

According to a press release issued by Early ISD, the district received notice that the grant application that funded the ACE program was not renewed by the state to Early ISD. Therefore, next Thursday, July 12th, will be the end of the ACE program with Early ISD. We appreciate your participation and hope that it has made a positive impact to your child’s life. For next school year, you will need to make alternate arrangements for after school care.

While overseeing what turned out to be the Early ACE Program’s final public event, engagement specialist Bridget Bean asked program supporters to get the word out that the program was in jeopardy if it did not receive funding. Along with after school activities, the program also provides summer activities and evening community events like last month’s tour of the airport, a visit from the Abilene Zoo in May and a color run in June.

During a tour of the airport, Bean sought to reach officials overseeing the awarding of the grant because she did not believe they fully understood the ramifications of not awarding Early ISD the grant.

“It’s basically up to the government to say whether we get the funding or not,” Bean said. “We serve anywhere from 300 to 400. It’s a lot bigger than they realize. When people think after school, they think we have 20 to 25 kids in a room. We’re on the primary, elementary and middle school campus and they are pretty much all over every campus after school.”