The Clinton Board of Education has given its approval to reapply for the 21st Century Learning Grant, which currently funds the district’s after-school program, Blazing Stars Academy.
The grant, which is worth $400,000 and lasts four years, is set to expire in 2014.
During this week’s Board of Education meeting, Terrace Miller, director of Special Programs for Clinton City Schools, encouraged members to give their approval, noting that the program has been around the last eight years and has been providing a variety of positive and helpful opportunities to local students.
“It provides remediation, enrichment, and additional assistance in reading and math for all students,” said Miller, adding that at-risk students in need of rigorous academic help do receive priority enrollment in the program.
The program is located at each of the city’s three elementary schools, and while all provide the same general help, each school has developed its own specialty of sorts.
“At Kerr, they noticed what a large Hispanic student population they have, so a student volunteer is actually teaching conversational Spanish,” explained Miller.
“At Butler, there’s a strong focus on technology,” continued Miller, “and at Sunset, they have the Lego project,” which allows students the opportunity to explore how robotics work. Miller added that they hope to expand the Lego project in the future.
“Art, dance, and music are also offered in the program,” said Miller. She specifically mentioned the popular taekwondo class and how it helps to teach students numerous life principles involving love, respect, and perseverance, to name a few.
According to Miller, the program also reaches outto the students’ parents, providing information about how to write resumes and apply for jobs, understanding the new Common Core curriculum, and much more.
The board voted unanimously to give its approval for the reapplication, but board member Diane Viser did request that data be provided to the board detailing the program’s success.
Miller then shared with them that the school system would like to contract with Anna Peele, an experienced grant writer, in order to effectively reapply for the 21st Century Learning Grant.
Miller explained that, since the grant writing process requires a good deal of work, she would like the board to consider approving a $1,000 stipend for Peele.
The board voted unanimously to provide Peele with the stipend in exchange for her assistance with writing the grant.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.