School sys­tem re­ceives $5.1M in af­ter-school pro­gram grants

The Covington News - - LOCAL - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

Par­ents may have the op­por­tu­nity not to rush to pick up their kids from learn­ing and en­rich­ment this year af­ter the school dis­trict re­ceived enough grant money to ex­pand its af­ter-school pro­grams.

New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) was awarded three fed­er­ally funded 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ters (CCLC) grants from the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, net­ting the school sys­tem $5.1 mil­lion over the next five years and pro­vid­ing 21st Cen­tury Af­ter-School Pro­grams (ASAP) to Mid­dle Ridge Ele­men­tary, Por­terdale Ele­men­tary, West New­ton Ele­men­tary, Fairview Ele­men­tary, Flint Hill Ele­men­tary, In­dian Creek Mid­dle, East­side High, New­ton High, and the Wash­ing­ton Street Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

The grants ex­pand ASAP, tar­get­ing stu­dents iden­ti­fied as need­ing af­ter-school ser­vices and re­me­di­a­tion but whose fam­i­lies can­not af­ford the tu­ition-based pro­gram al­ready in place.

“I am thrilled that the hard work and ef­forts of Deena Sams, com­mu­nity col­lab­o­ra­tion co­or­di­na­tor, and Kathy Gar­ber, grant writer, have paid off for our stu­dents and com­mu­nity,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey. “Our af­ter-school pro­gram­ming en­hances stu­dents’ aca­demic per­for­mance both in the class­room as well as on stan­dard­ized as­sess­ments. Stu­dents are pro­vided with mul­ti­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply what they have learned in their class­rooms to ‘real-world’ prob­lems and sit­u­a­tions.”

NCSS was also awarded con­tin­u­a­tion of a cur­rent $2.5 mil­lion grant for Cle­ments Mid­dle, Cousins Mid­dle, Lib­erty Mid­dle, Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Mid­dle and Al­covy High schools. These pro­grams are en­ter­ing the third of a five-year award. With the ex­pan­sion of the pro­gram, 800 stu­dents will re­ceive free aca­demic as­sis­tance and fam­ily sup­port through the CCLC.

Par­ents of stu­dents who qual­ify for the pro­gram based on fed­eral guide­lines for the grant will be no­ti­fied by Sams.

ASAP is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort in­volv­ing the New­ton County Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship, the Re­cre­ation Depart­ment, the Arts As­so­ci­a­tion, New­ton County Reads and the Covington Po­lice Depart­ment. The school sys­tem has a long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship, which in­cludes rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Kid­sNet, the Lit­er­acy Coali­tion, Gwin­nett/Rock­dale/ New­ton Men­tal Health, the Ju­ve­nile Courts and Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice and the Health Depart­ment, who, to­gether with the school dis­trict, con­tinue to seek ways to im­prove the lives of young peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to an NCSS press re­lease.

Ob­jec­tives of the ASAP pro­gram in­clude im­proved per­for­mance in core aca­demic ar­eas with an em­pha­sis on read­ing and math, im­proved home­work com­ple­tion, class par­tic­i­pa­tion and be­hav­ior, op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to be more in­volved in the arts and re­cre­ation, and in­creased par­ent in­volve­ment in chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­tiv­i­ties will be learner-fo­cused with en­rich­ment and re­me­di­a­tion pre­sented through in­no­va­tive lessons, stu­dent projects, small group learn­ing and tech­nol­ogy.

“These pro­grams will pro­vide an ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at in­creas­ing aca­demic achieve­ment,” Sams said. “The 21st Cen­tury ASAP takes learn­ing be­yond the class­room and ex­poses stu­dents to ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties they might not oth­er­wise have. We are ex­tremely ex­cited to have this pro­gram in New­ton County and to now have an af­ter-school pro­gram in ev­ery school.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the grants or af­ter-school op­por­tu­ni­ties at your child’s school, con­tact Sams at 770-787-1330 ext. 1271.

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