Peyton Harris and Menna Williamson, Straughn High School JAG students, work with Alora Morgan after school Thursday.
Peyton Harris and Menna Williamson, Straughn High School JAG students, work with Alora Morgan after school Thursday.

Straughn gets $600K grant

Published 12:01am Friday, August 30, 2013

A three-year, $600,000 grant means that Straughn schools will soon be able to expand its after-school program.

County Schools Federal Programs Coordinator Donny Powell confirmed Thursday that Straughn Elementary and Straughn Middle schools combined forces and were awarded a 21st Century Learning Grant by the U.S. Department of Education in its most recent grant cycle. Funding is given on a three-year cycle, which means Straughn will receive $200,000 a year to operate the program.

The 21st Century Learning Grant program is designed to advance student achievement through enrichment programs, education activities and tutoring services.

Currently, SES is ending its last year in a three-year grant cycle, meaning the program is available to students through the sixth grade, Powell said. With the new grant, the program, called “STEMulate Your Mind After School,” will be available to students through the eighth grade, he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have gotten the news,” said Principal Bette Ann Older.

Powell said the new grant will become effective in October.

“This program is used for helping students who may be struggling in class work to try to help students pull the grades up,” he said. “Another use is that parents use it for their after-school program when they work late, since staff is there until 5:30 p.m.”

Students are also exposed to several enrichment programs such as art, sports and music – and, a snack is provided.

The school also hosts a summer program, which is generally two weeks, under the program, Powell said.

With this award, there are four schools operating with a 21st Century Learning Grant, including Red Level Elementary, Fleeta Jr. High and W.S. Harlan Elementary School.

“All of those are in their third year, so they will have to write new grants if they want to continue those programs,” Powell said.

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