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Lottery cash for learning groups

The National Lottery Charities Board has awarded Pounds 126 million to groups offering people the chance to learn and to take part in volunteer work, anticipating recommendations of the Government's "People's Lottery" White Paper.

"It shows the board is ahead of the game", said Janet Paraskeva, its director. "But it's not about Government targets. We are helping to develop things we already know work. We know after-school clubs, out-of-school study groups and supplementary schooling works."

Of the 1,326 grants awarded, almost a third are for groups working specifically with school-age children.

Some of the largest awards include Pounds 399,000 to Prince's Trust Action to provide out-of-school study centres for 11 to 16-year-olds, Pounds 455, 000 to the Kids Club Network of after-school clubs and Pounds 173,000 to the Pooh Bear Reading Assistance society in Hull which provides one-to-one literacy support to schoolchildren.

The Claudia Jones Organisation in Hackney, east London, which offers supplementary numeracy and literacy classes to try to reduce the drop-out rate among African-Caribbean boys, has been awarded Pounds 227,000.

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