Fed­eral grant of $3 mil­lion com­ing to PSD

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

Money is com­ing to lo­cal schools thanks to the Polk County School Board ac­cept­ing over $3 mil­lion from nu­mer­ous fed­eral grants.

While the money is just a por­tion of the dis­trict’s op­er­at­ing in­come, fed­eral grants do re­main an im­por­tant part of im­prov­ing and run­ning Polk School Dis­trict, and this most re­cent round of grants has been pledged to­wards var­i­ous pro­grams like teacher train­ing and English as a Sec­ond Lan­guage classes.

“When we talk about our re­sources, we have lo­cal funds, state funds, we have fed­eral grants and we need to make sure we have an ap­proval- that we’re will­ing to ac­cept these grants,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Lau­rie Atkins said. “And look­ing at the amounts up here, I have no idea why we would not ac­cept these fed­eral grants be­cause it re­ally helps us in sup­port­ing of our ed­u­ca­tional qual­ity and in­struc­tional pro­grams.”

The Ti­tle I, Part A Grant, awarded to schools with high num­bers of stu­dents from low-in­come fam­i­lies, alone is of­fer­ing a sum of more than $2.5 mil­lion to Polk School Dis­trict to help en­sure all chil­dren meet the state-set stan­dards.

It’s com­mon to see Ti­tle I grant money spent on ex­tra teach­ers or sum­mer pro­grams, but the board did not men­tion any spe­cific use of the funds dur­ing their Fe­bru­ary 5 work ses­sion.

The Ti­tle II, Part A Grant of­fered up an ad­di­tional $282,367 for the stated pur­pose of teacher train­ing and learn­ing, and the $75,326 from the Ti­tle III, Part A Grant was pledged to­ward the dis­trict’s English lan­guage learn­ing pro­gram.

Money for the dis­trict also came in the form of a Ti­tle IV, Stu­dent Sup­port and Aca­demic En­rich­ment Grant in the amount of $177,041, and the Ti­tle V, Ru­ral and Low In­come Schools Grant for $145,304.

One use of the grants could be help­ing stu­dents from lower in­come fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pate in field trips or out of school events like those ap­proved dur­ing the work ses­sion. Both Cedar­town High and Rock­mart High wrestling teams were ap­proved to travel for their com­pe­ti­tion trips in early Fe­bru­ary, and the board ap­proved the Rock­mart Mid­dle School Beta Club’s trip to Or­lando, Fla., on May 26 through May 31.

Be­fore ad­journ­ing, the board gave back too and awarded Ferst Read­ers with a check for $2,570 to aid in their goal of in­creas­ing lit­er­acy among youth. The move came shortly af­ter mem­bers Patty Rogers and Betty Nel­son spoke as a del­e­ga­tion about the or­ga­ni­za­tion and its up­com­ing fundraiser.

“We want to make sure we con­tinue our sup­port,” Atkins said as she bran­dished the check. “Ed­u­ca­tors re­ally sup­port FERST Read­ers. We feel it’s very im­por­tant that we in­still lit­er­acy in our chil­dren from birth on up and that we con­tinue to sup­port each year.”

/ Sean Wil­liams

Ferst Read­ers were provied with a do­na­tion dur­ing the Polk County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Fe­bru­ary work ses­sion ahead of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s forth­com­ing An Af­ter­noon with Authors fundraiser on Feb. 24. Pic­tured are Ferst Read­ers’ Betty Nel­son, Su­per­in­ten­dent Lau­rie Atkins, Patty Rogers with Ferst Read­ers, and As­sis­tant Su­perindent and PCCCA CEO Katie Thomas.

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