Students In 5 States Get Longer School Days

11 school districts to add 300 hours per year

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Interior of school classroom

A national effort to extend school hours and enrich education is coming to classrooms in five states.

Students at a cohort of schools in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado and Tennessee will be spending more time in the classroom as a part a National Center on Time & Learning program, the Associated Press reports.

The center’s TIME Collaborative — Time for Innovation Matters in Education — is a campaign focused on pushing expanded instruction hours at high-poverty schools through local and state partnerships. The educational  center plans to announce a second wave of 11 new participating districts the five states for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Students will use the up to 300 extra instruction hours per year to explore topics outside the regular classroom curriculum, including studying world culture, health, foreign languages and even scrap-booking. The program will also focus on developing and testing customized learning technology.

The program is mostly funded by a combination of federal, state and district funding, but The Ford Foundation is will also donate grant funding.