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Barren County schools to host after-school programs

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 10:23 am

Barren County schools to host after-school programs

By CHUCK MASON The Daily News cmason@bgdailynews.com/783-3262



Hiseville Elementary School will join six other elementary schools in Barren County Public Schools, Barren County Middle School and Barren County High School in hosting after-school programs.

The programs are funded through federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, said Mark Wallace, assistant superintendent for Barren County Schools. The Hiseville Elementary grant is $637,500 for five years, and a continuation grant for Barren County Middle School of $352,500 for five years was announced this week. After-school programs have been hosted in the district since about 2007. The middle school just finished the last year of its five-year grant. The new grants will kick in for the 2014-15 school year.

Barren County has received $6,442,500 in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants since 2007, officials said.

“This is an opportunity to provide enrichment opportunities and reinforce academics,” Wallace said.

The federal funds are restricted to after-school program activities. The money allows the district to link its after-school programs to the community.

“We can bring people in from the community to work with the students,” Wallace said.

The federal grants are distributed through the Kentucky Department of Education to help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects like reading and math. The programs offered include music, archery, tutoring, health and wellness activities and field trips.

— Follow education reporter Chuck Mason on Twitter at twitter.com/bgdnschools or at bgdaily news.com.


Friday, January 31, 2014 10:23 am.

Article source: http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/barren-county-schools-to-host-after-school-programs/article_e1006b7f-00f8-591d-9e8a-f977c5b34871.html

Farm-to-School program continues growth


It’s lunch time for the kids at the Lowell Graded School.  But this is a meal with a twist, because the students in this school helped grow some of the food the cafeteria uses.  It is part of the Green Mountain Farm-to-School Program.  A non-profit that works with schools throughout the Northeast Kingdom.

“I am the coordinator for Lowell and I work with directly with schools to encourage farm curriculum, garden based curriculum and get local food into the dining hall and to create and maintain a school garden that will hopefully source to the cafeteria directly,” said Karina French, the GMFS coordinator.

But it doesn’t end there — this program runs year round. “There are lots of aspects to what we do with schools including farm field trips, workshops cooking lessons, after school programs — depending on what the school is interested in and what we are able to do,” French said. Funding for the program comes through a combination of grant money, individual donors and participating schools.

Principal Anita Willey Gagner says among other things, the program encourages the students to try something new. “It has empowered the kids to try new foods rather than veggies and fruits out of a can. They are allowed the experience to have something that they have been able to put in the ground themselves, and kids who would not ever look at a broccoli stalk will now look at the tree that they grew, that’s what we call it,” she said.

And this being fall, it’s time to harvest what has been grown in the garden this year.  Seventh graders, like Wes Swanson, are encouraged to taste the dill. “I learned that they taste pretty minty,” he said. Swanson also helped harvest corn and Zucchini. “I think it is pretty cool that the school can do that kind of stuff — fresh vegetables, pretty cheap and stuff,” he said.
Another big harvest — kale. “That we get to have it in the salad bar and that we get to eat it,” said 7th grader Gabby Cota.  But Cota says her favorites are corn and potatoes.

According to school cook, Debbie Merrill, kale chips are a big hit. “They love it if you bake it and put a little salt on it — they love kale chips,” she said.

And that is the goal of the Farm to school program. “If they are used to gardening, used to seeing food grow, they are going to understand more where their food comes from and hopefully that will continue for the rest of their lives,” French said.  “They will be more connected to where their food is coming from and buy local.”

And realize the teamwork it takes to harvest a successful crop.

Article source: http://www.wcax.com/story/23507739/farm-to-school-program-continues-growth

Weekend fundraiser to benefit after-school tutoring program

When the last school bell rings, learning doesn’t stop for 12-year-old Summer Kelsey and 90 other students who attend an after-school program at Children Are People, Inc., in Gallatin.

For the past seven years, Kelsey has spent her afternoons at the local nonprofit, which provides tutoring, mentoring, field trips and summer camps to students in grades K-12.

The agency — which is hosting a major fundraiser, Under the Tuscan Sun II, on Saturday — has been good for the seventh-grade student, who once struggled in math. It also has helped to shape her as she eyes a future as a pediatrician.

“My attitude has changed, my grades have improved and my personality became more mature,” Kelsey said. “I like getting the help with my homework, learning new things, going on field trips and having new experiences.”

Along with an interest in the medical field, her favorite subject in school is social studies.

“I like to learn about the people and how the world was back then,” Kelsey said, adding she is particularly interested in the time period surrounding the Civil War.

A helping hand

Started in 2000 by Fred Bailey, CAP provides services to qualifying children and is geared toward children in the community who are deemed at risk.

“We use that term very lightly — most of our students here are either in public housing, on free or reduced lunches, or they live with a grandparent or a parent that works second or third shift,” said Susan Superczynski, director of operations. “They just need that extra help after school and a safe place to be off the streets.”

Agency vans pick the students up at their schools, and also give many a ride home. In addition, each child receives a full meal.

“By the time these kids get home, their homework is done, they are fed and all they need is time with their families,” Superczynski said.

CAP receives no local, state or federal funding, but relies strictly on fundraisers, grants and donations to meet its annual operating costs of around $250,000. Superczynski said the upcoming fundraiser is one of the agency’s annual events that it relies on for funds. The goal is to attract around 300 guests.

Aside from an open bar, guests can enjoy a catered Italian buffet with pasta bar, salad bar, bread, antipasto and a dessert bar. Sumner County’s own Garage Band Revival will perform danceable rock ‘n’ roll tunes.

CAP employs one full-time worker, seven part-time and 17 volunteers, plus student volunteers, so most of the operating costs go toward food and fuel costs, Superczynski said. The agency is always looking for volunteers, particularly in the area of math studies.

Article source: http://www.tennessean.com/viewart/20130915/GALLATIN01/309150050/Weekend-fundraiser-benefit-after-school-tutoring-program

Clairton’s CASTLE after-school program called best in state – Tribune

Clairton students are preparing for their second year in a program that organizers rank among the best in Pennsylvania.

Clairton’s After-School Teaching Learning Experience – CASTLE – will begin Thursday for students in fifth through eighth grade.

Sponsored by the Consortium for Public Education and Clairton City School District, CASTLE couples core curriculum tutoring by certified teachers with innovative learning activities rooted in arts and technology.

“It gives students an experience like no other,â€? said the program’s executive director Greg Spotti, an eighth-grade science teacher. “They’re introduced to so many aspects of life that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience.â€?

Activities include hip-hop music production, radio and video technology, art, theater, bicycling and fishing.

“They take field trips to the museums and go hiking,� district public relations coordinator Alexis Trubiani said. “These are things that the average child from Clairton might not experience without the CASTLE program.�

Funded by a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant administered through the state Department of Education, CASTLE meets the criteria of providing academic, artistic and cultural enrichment during non-school hours in a high-poverty or low-performing district. Funding is for three years, contingent upon the program’s success.

“Our CASTLE program had the highest attendance in the state,� school board president Richard Livingston said.

Tricia Gennari, the consortium’s senior director of leadership, confirmed participation by 97 percent of eligible students. She said participation in similar programs in other districts is approximately 30 percent.

“I came (to Clairton Education Center) for a meeting with a colleague of mine, and we couldn’t get into the door because kids were grabbing us and asking, ‘Where’s the sign-up sheet? Please tell me,â€? Gennari said. “I know that this year is going to top last year.â€?

An expanded CASTLE program will include a classroom highlighting science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM concepts. The room will house a 3-D printer and scanner, eight MacBook Pro computers, a self-charging laptop cart, four digital recorders, microphones, headphones, digital video cameras and a projector.

“Students will be able to work with partners and hone their skills in terms of STEM,� Gennari said.

Grow Pittsburgh and the Group Against Smog and Pollution have joined a group of sponsors that includes Hip-Hop on LOCK, MGR Foundation, the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society, Sense of Place Learning, Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, Carnegie Museum of Art and Futures Without Violence.

Students will build an edible schoolyard and learn about the science of agriculture. They will supplement other lessons with air quality-monitoring projects.

For the first time, younger siblings of CASTLE participants can enroll in a supplementary after-school program.

“In a district of our size and our demographics, we have a lot of older siblings who take care of younger siblings after school,� Livingston said. “We thought that could be a problem with attendance. So the YMCA is going to run a sibling program that is educationally based.�

The YMCA of McKeesport will build from a pilot summer program to conduct the sibling course for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade.

Livingston said the Consortium and YMCA answered a need for an enriching after-school program in Clairton, because of state budget cuts that put an economically distressed district at a further disadvantage.

“The governor cut funds, and through this grant, we were able to have an after-school program,� Livingston said. “It shows in our test scores that it has helped.�

Gennari said Consortium staff believes CASTLE is the best 21st Century program in the state.

“Anytime any of you talk to state officials, please mention it,� Gennari told the school board. “With the dwindling funds in Washington, there are cutbacks coming.�

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

Article source: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/4661510-74/program-castle-clairton

To DC and Back: MAC’s Upward Bound program

Upward Bound at Mineral Area College, a federal TRIO program that encourages college attendance among certain populations of high school students, wrapped up another successful, six-week summer program that included a trip to Washington, D.C., a number of local field trips, job shadowing, and introductions to a state legislator and other local officials.

Rebecca Neighbors, director of Upward Bound at Mineral Area College, said the annual summer program keeps students engaged during the summer months, and encourages them to not only complete high school, but perhaps be the first in their families to attend college. The students come from Farmington, North County, West County, Bismarck, Central, Potosi, Kingston, Valley Caledonia, Arcadia Valley and Fredericktown school districts.

She said the summer trip to Washington, D.C., was the grand finale of this year’s summer program theme, which focused on government and leadership development. “Many of our students have never been out of state, so this year’s summer trip was especially exciting,” she said.

The trip to Washington, D.C., was the culmination of the summer program, and took place July 17-20. Fifty-nine students boarded buses that took them from Park Hills to the east coast. While in D.C., the group visited Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon, took in the Capitol and saw many memorials. And of course, they made a big splash with their red t-shirts. Neighbors said students design the group’s t-shirts every summer based on their trip and summer theme. This year’s t-shirt showed the steps of the capitol with profiles of Washington, Lincoln and Truman above, UFOs buzzing around their heads, and “Take me to your leader” written below.

Neighbors said while the students had a good time, it was clear many were forming lasting impressions during their trip.

“It was encouraging to see students take such an interest in our history and freedom,” Neighbors said. “Many took ‘rubbings’ from the Vietnam Memorial Wall of friends’ and family members’ names who lost their life in the war.”

Earlier this summer, the kids had received civic lessons when they visited the Iron County Courthouse, a visit arranged by Associate Circuit Judge Randall Head. Drug Court Commissioner John Kiser, Sheriff Roger Medley, Deputy Scott Maxey, Treasurer Denise Bates, Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parker, Circuit Clerk Sammye Gail, and Presiding County Commissioner Donald Barzowski all met with the students and explained their roles and how county government works.

Missouri Rep. Paul Fitzwater, R-144 th District, met with the students both at the Iron County Courthouse, and also the following week, June 25, at the students’ formal dinner at Heritage Hall in Bonne Terre, where he talked about the importance of integrity in leadership.

“The formal dinner is usually preceded by an etiquette presentation, but this year local salons volunteered to help the girls with their hair while the boys participated in a class to learn about ironing and how to tie a necktie,” Neighbors said.

Salons participating in the lessons included All About Me Salon, National Academy of Beauty Arts, Pat Co. Salon, Sensibly Chic Salon, Superior Vibes, Ooh La La Salon, TKP Salon, Xtremes Salon, and J.C. Penny’s Salon. “The purpose of the dinner is to try to give students the experience of dining in a more formal setting so they feel more comfortable with it later in life,” Neighbors said. “It was a very memorable evening for the students.”

The students also job-shadowed with professionals from several businesses this summer to learn about careers, including Anytime Fitness’s Cody Rogers, Basset Dental’s Dr. Ben Basset, Taylor Engineering, USDA’s Ron Morrow, Parkland Hospital’s Tina Tharp, Circuit Judge Sandy Martinez, the Farmington Police Department, Techno Wizards’ Scott Peeler, Debbie Thrasher with Mrs. Thrasher’s Preschool, Graphic Options’ JasonBuxton, Thompson Photography, Complete Vision Center’s Dr. Mark Kahrhoff, Nobbe Company’s Bucky Branham, Farmington High School, Farmington Lincoln Intermediate School, Park Hills Parks Department’s Mr. Dooley Politte, and Marler Music’s Ray Marler.

“Students are able to observe what professionals actually do on their job and ask questions,” Neighbors said. “I really appreciate all the local businesses who volunteer their time each year for us to offer students this opportunity. It is great to live in a community where local professionals take time to invest in youth.”

While the hectic summer program is over, Upward Bound continues to serve students with weekly meetings, tutoring, and Saturday programs. Plans are already being made for annual recruiting in January. “We are looking for students who have the potential of becoming the first person in their family to graduate from college,” Neighbors said.

“Our job in Upward Bound is to help prepare high school students for college academically, socially, and culturally. We know we have succeeded at our job when one of our alumni successfully completes a four year degree and is working in the career they dreamed about years before.”

Article source: http://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/to-d-c-and-back-mac-s-upward-bound-program/article_1ab34706-1752-11e3-bb6c-001a4bcf887a.html

KT Murphy wins $646000 after school program

STAMFORD — The school district learned this week that it won a $646,000 grant to start a five-year after-school program at an inner-city school focusing on science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Cheryl Poltrak, the district’s director of grants, said Wednesday it was a bit of a surprise.

“We had submitted this grant last year,” she said. “They awarded five grants¦, but we were number six.”

She said the 21st Century Grant Competition wasn’t even open this year so the district thought it wouldn’t have the money for the program. But it was notified on Tuesday it won and the School Board accepted the grant Tuesday night.

Now, the district and its partner Domus have the task of scrambling to create a program. It is expected to begin operation in October.

This is a five year program that provides after school activities for 80 to 100 children at the school, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Twenty percent of the time the students will be getting homework help from Stamford teachers. The rest of the time they will be conducting experiments and taking field trips. Domus, the nonprofit is providing some family support and enrichment activities as part of the program.

Every school has at least two days of after-school programs, she noted and the district is working on securing grants for other programs as well.

“This school needs it. The community needs it,” said Domus Chief Community Officer Jonathan Hoch.

He said KT Murphy serves a sizeable population of working class families, where both parents have jobs.

These after-school programs really help working families, he said. It provides a place for their children to stay after school and be supervised by a professional, instead of being watched by an older sibling.

The district will have to hire an academic liaison for the program and staff it with teachers. Domus will provide family advocates and co-manage the program.

Article source: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/KT-Murphy-wins-646-000-after-school-program-4772510.php

Recreation department holding registration for after-school program

636c8 Recreation department holding registration for after school program0 1376588219 Recreation department holding registration for after school program


UNION — Registration is open for the Union County Recreation Department’s annual after-school program for students ages 5-12.

Union County Recreation Department Program Director Jessica Gallman said the annual program offers assistance for parents.

“Do you need a safe, fun environment for your 5-12 year old after school? Tired of struggling to get homework, dinner, and chores done in the evenings during the school year? We can help you out with that!”

Students in the program are picked up from Buffalo Elementary, Foster Park Elementary, Monarch Elementary and Sims Middle School.

Gallman said the after-school program counselors are dedicated and experienced, and they strictly enforce a zero-tolerance bullying policy. After-schoolers are given a snack when they arrive and counselors offer homework assistance during a designated homework time. Field trips and other fun activities are planned each Friday in lieu of homework time.

A weekly fee is charged for the program.

For more information about the program or to register, visit www.unionscrec.com or call Jessica at (864) 429-1670.

Article source: http://www.uniondailytimes.com/view/full_story/23377902/article-Recreation-department-holding-registration-for-after-school-program

Terrell Co. after school program leaves lasting impact – WALB


Parents learned more about a Terrell County after school program with proven record of helping students improve their academic performance.

Parents enrolled their children at the Positive Direction Youth Development Center. It offers tutoring services and free field trips.   

“Parents should join this because here we’re able to help the children with their homework in the afternoon, and a lot of parents are still working, and the parents don’t have to worry about their kids it’s safe, once their off work they’re able to come and pick them up,” said program director Dorothy Tomlin.

The program is federally funded.

2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.walb.com/story/23089495/terrell-co-after-school-program-leaves-lasting-impact

Join the team, volunteer in Leander school district – Austin American

The Leander school district’s Volunteer Program has been an integral part of our system since it began in the mid-’80s. And each year, a growing number of parents and community members have chosen to donate their time and energy to our schools, demonstrating the importance and value of education to thousands of students.

In fact, last year our students’ educational experiences were enhanced through the efforts of more than 12,500 local volunteers who gave more than 300,000 hours of their time. That’s almost 9 hours per child — time well spent supporting the district’s efforts to educate all students to their highest level of academic performance, while fostering self-esteem and responsibility.

If you’ve volunteered for us before, summertime is a great time to renew your application online. In the last couple of weeks, many of you have already done so. But if you’ve never been a volunteer and are interested in learning more, I encourage you to visit leanderisd.org and select the community tab to get an overview of the program. Here you can find frequently asked questions, the volunteer handbook and the link to the online application.

Before you get started, here are some common questions and answers regarding the Volunteer Program:

• How do I become a volunteer?

All volunteers must complete an online volunteer application and criminal record check. Returning volunteers must renew their application every year. On the application you will have the opportunity to list your skills, interests and preferred school location, grade level and type of volunteer service.

• How do I find out what volunteer opportunities are available?

Each campus has a volunteer coordinator who helps work with campus leadership to ensure volunteers serve in a way that benefits students most. A volunteer’s tasks are limitless, including such things as tutoring and mentoring students, chaperoning school dances and field trips, serving as room parents, helping with field day and book fairs, serving Thanksgiving lunches, stuffing weekly take-home folders, helping with class projects, laminating and helping in the campus office.

• I’d like to volunteer, but I can’t offer my services on a regular basis. Can I still volunteer?

Yes! You may be a special-activity volunteer who is involved with special school projects. This time commitment for the volunteer job depends on the specific project. You can also work from home (i.e. phone calls, cutting, coloring, etc).

I hope you will consider volunteering this coming school year because as a volunteer, you serve as an incredible role model — students see that you support their school and its programs. As a volunteer, you encourage student learning and help mold a child’s confidence and attitude toward school. You also help free up teachers’ time so they can focus more on classroom instruction.

Likewise, campus staff are given more time to focus on student achievement because our volunteers help out in so many small ways. Regardless of how our volunteers serve our schools, you all truly make a difference! To all volunteers who served last year, thank you! We cannot adequately express our gratitude for all that you do. The contributions of volunteers are very much appreciated by the board of trustees, campus personnel and me.

Whether you are a returning volunteer or new to the program, I encourage you to sign up to volunteer this year. Sign up, join our team and together let’s make sure every student graduates with every option open.

Have a great week!

Article source: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/join-the-team-volunteer-in-leander-school-district/nYmCP/

2013 RI Summer Camp and Program Map


Families looking for a high-quality summer learning program for children can now find them quickly and easily via an online map at www.afterschoolri.org. The map, compiled by the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance (RIASPA), an education initiative of United Way of Rhode Island, conveniently identifies more than 160 community-based organizations that will offer high-quality summer learning programs this summer. The online resource also includes the location and contact information for each program.

Organizations that operate these summer learning programs include Boys Girls Clubs, YMCAs, libraries, community and neighborhood centers, parks and recreation departments, schools, summer camps, teen and youth centers, and child care centers. Depending on the program, recreational and educational activities will include visual and performing arts, cooking, dance, swimming, soccer, reading, healthy living skills, music, nature exploration, photography, and field trips.

Families can visit the RIASPA website then directly contact programs that interest them. Other organizations that provide summer learning programs and wish to be included on the map should contact RIASPA’s Joseph Morra at joseph.morra@afterschoolri.org or (401) 444-0615.

Enrolling a child in an age-appropriate summer learning program is beneficial because research confirms that most children lose up to two months of mathematical skills if not engaged in active learning opportunities during the summer. This is known as “summer learning loss,” and high-quality programs can help to combat this loss.

“Summer learning programs provide students with safe, hands-on, and experiential learning opportunities, and can also boost academic performance,” said Adam Greenman, executive director of the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance, an education initiative of United Way of Rhode Island. “In some of the programs we work with directly, 16 percent of students made gains in literacy, and 43 percent made gains in math.”

In a survey of the state’s parents conducted for United Way of Rhode Island and RIASPA, 93 percent of Rhode Island parents feel summer learning programs are important for a child’s continuing educational experience. Also, 78 percent strongly agree that summer learning programs help reduce the chances of children engaging in risky behavior. Many parents view summer learning programs as playing a key role in keeping children safe, boosting academic achievement, guiding children toward career paths, and assisting working families.

The Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance, an education initiative of United Way of Rhode Island, is a 1,200-member organization that serves over 15,000 children and youth statewide through its work with high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs. RIASPA advocates for rethinking how, when and where children learn to ensure they are successful in school and in life.

For more information, go to www.afterschoolri.org.

Article source: http://narragansett.patch.com/articles/2013-ri-summer-camp-and-program-map-e311bfe9

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