Parents get look at SES program

Published 12:03 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Straughn Elementary and Middle School parents got a first-hand look at the activities of the school’s after-school program at last night’s Lights on After Dark event.

Lights on After Dark is a national event recognized by the Afterschool Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for after-school program.

SES Principal Bettye Anne Older was recently selected to serve as the Afterschool Alliance ambassador for Alabama, and was given a proclamation from Rep. Mike Jones during the evening’s celebration about the program.

The event was held for parents to participate and observe activities for which the students are involved.

“We’re here to promote school safety, science, technology, engineering, math and art,” Joyce Mitchell, 21st Century Coordinator said. “We had all that displayed here tonight.”

SES has had an after-school program for more than a decade, which has been funded by 21st Century Learning Grants, and has combined with the middle school.

“This enrichment act is so important for our students,” Older said. “The teachers help with homework and remediation for children who need a little more help.”

More than 175 students from both schools participate in the program and learn from a variety of different subjects, and there are 14 teachers dedicated to teaching in the program.

Kenyon Hardwick, a seventh grader, said he enjoys the technology program, the chance to study, play board games, hangout with his friends and said he especially loves the time spent with his teachers.

One student who has been a member of the after school program recently designed his own app, called Bible Wars, and brought iPads for students to sample his game.

“We also do community service projects,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to partner with 4-H, because 4-H will be working with Relay For Life this year.

“Our very own Gordie Cartwright, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, will be showcased in that booth,” she said.

The program is available Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.