BCMS receives enrichment grant

By Christy Howell-Hoots
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BROOKSVILLE – Bracken County Middle School received a grant to start an afterschool academic, artistic and cultural enrichment program.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant provides funding for schools to open up opportunities that help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, math and science, according to Bracken County Schools Gifted Programs Coordinator Leah Jefferson.

“It’s an afterschool program to help students meet benchmarks,” Jefferson said. “There are six goals for the program.”

According to Jefferson, those goals include increasing academic achievement with regular student attendance, Improve non-cognitive indicators of success, increase number of students attending program 30 days or more during school year, increase access to high-quality programming, increase access to college/career activities and increase educational opportunities for parents and families to support achievement.

“Some of the programming we want to offer would be homework help, reading and math help,” she said. “We plan to offer things such as trades in the workplace, financial literacy and electricity. We want to incorporate the community and surrounding cities and to have students know the job opportunities they have in this area.”

Jefferson said there are plans to have different speakers throughout the program to talk to students about opportunities.

Other programs will include working with parents to help with technology, provide informaion to help students with academic success and learning about at-risk behavior.

“When students reach the middle school age, that’s when you start noticing more of the at-risk behavior,” Jefferson said. “Part of the program will help teach what signs to look for and how to identify that behavior.”

According to Jefferson, the grant is for $150,000 for year one, two and three with a chance to continue to the program for two more years in the amount of $125,000 for year four and $100,000 for year five.

In order to continue receiving the grant, the school is required to run the program for a minimum of 12 hours a week, starting within the first three weeks of the school year.

“It will run four days a week, starting when school dismisses and running until about 6 p.m. with students getting on the bus around 6:15 p.m.,” Jefferson said. “It will continue until two weeks before the end of the school year.”

Jefferson said the program will also be offered for two weeks in the summer for four days a week.

Students participating in the program will have transportation provided.

“We’re hoping that will help for parents who may be unable to pick up students,” Jefferson said.

Meals will also be provided for the students.

Jefferson said the program is offered for Middle School students only. Information will be sent out to parents in May and signups for the program will begin at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

According to Jefferson, certified teachers and volunteers will be on hand during the program.

Before the program begins, the school will also be hiring a program coordinator. Those interested can contact Jefferson or Bracken County Superintendent Jeff Aulick.

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By Christy Howell-Hoots