PITTSBURG, Kan. —
The fifth time’s a charm.
After four failed attempts, the Pittsburg School District has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Kansas State Department of Education that will allow for after-school and summer learning opportunities for elementary students.
“We had applied for this grant for the last three years and kept being denied,” said Superintendent Destry Brown. “In fact, we were denied again this year.”
But, the state department had money left after grants were awarded last fall, and it asked the district to resubmit an application this spring. The district learned last week that it had been approved.
The grant proposal was written by Save the Children, a nonprofit group that supports children living in poverty throughout the world. According to figures provided by the state department, the Pittsburg School District’s poverty level is at 65 percent. Meadowlark Elementary and Westside Elementary, two of the district’s four elementary schools, have poverty rates that top 80 percent.
The program will be composed of four parts: independent reading, listening comprehension and vocabulary development, physical fitness and healthy living, and math. The funding also allows for enrichment activities for special interest studies. Students will attend each component for about 30 minutes each day during the district’s after-school program.
The district plans to provide the program at each of its four elementary schools, with students in kindergarten through second grade and in grades three through five each attending two days a week.
The district is required to begin the program May 1 or it must forfeit the grant.
“So, we are trying to connect the dots on something that we would normally take a month or two to organize and put together,” Brown said.
“The other downside is that we have to spend the first year of money by Sept. 30, and we cannot carry any money over in this grant.”
As a result, the district will offer more programs during the summer this year, including a Health and Wellness Camp in June. The district will reorganize efforts again in the fall.
Brown said that although the district’s middle school and high school students are not part of the program, they would benefit.
“The money that we receive through the Rural and Low Income Grant from the state can now be divided between those two schools, rather than trying to divide it six ways,” he said. “So, there should be some added enrichment and after-school programming at those schools as well.”
THE COFFEYVILLE AND IOLA school districts also were approved for funding and will begin the program at the same time as Pittsburg.
Funds to come after four failed attempts
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
The fifth time’s a charm.
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