After-school program to expand for K-2nd grade

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By Kristin Beck

An after-school program is coming soon for students in kindergarten through third grades.

Director of Public Relations Jeff Fremin announced Thursday to the Carroll County Board of Education that school district had received a second 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, totaling $637,500 over the next five years.

The current 21st Century Lighthouse program serves fourth- through eighth-graders at Carroll County Middle School. With this grant, kindergarten through second-graders will attend an after-school program at Kathryn Winn Primary, and third- through fifth-graders will stay at Cartmell Elementary.

Fremin said he applied for the grant in December and was notified this month that the school district has received it. He said planning will begin next week on the program.

Carroll County Schools will begin receiving funding Feb. 1. As of now, the plan is to begin the new program in the summer, but Fremin said he would like to start sooner if possible.

The grant is worth $150,000 per year for the first three years, $112,500 in year four and $75,000 in year five. Fremin said the school district can apply for continuation funding after five years.

Current director Sheila Chowning will head both grants, he said.

The program runs for about 165 of the 175 school days and 20 days in the summer – four days a week for five weeks.

Cartmell will meet from 2:40-5:10 p.m., while Winn will meet from 3-5:30 p.m. Buses will run Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year.

A site coordinator will be hired at both Winn and Cartmell, funded half-days from the grant in the afternoon and through the school system during the rest of the day working with interventionists, Fremin said.

There are three main goals for the grant. The first is to increase academic achievement in core subjects. This includes focus on individualized learning using programs such as Compass Learning and Dream Box, and by participating in enrichment activities related to STEAM, the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity – and wellness.

“Kids need to be moving,” Fremin said. “They’re in classrooms all day long; it’s very important that kids are active.”

The second goal is to improve non-cognitive indicators, including attendance, discipline and developmental assets. The goal is to help the students be responsible and continue to work toward the college- and career-readiness piece.

The final goal is to make parents full educational partners in their children’s development. “We want our parents to be right there along with us, educating the children,” he said. “After all, the parents are the children’s first teacher and the most important teacher.”

Fremin said the program will partner with Jefferson Community and Technical College and will encourage parents to continue their education or improve their chances of finding meaningful employment by going through job skills training. Engaging parents in learning opportunities, such as reading for 20 minutes every night to their children or attending events together, will help them succeed in life.

Also included in the grant was funding for 15 computer tablets and a storage cart for Winn and a kiln and sound equipment for Cartmell. Fremin said there also will be five showcases throughout the year so parents can see what their kids are doing.

The schools will receive robotics and science kits and GeoMotion kits at both Winn and Cartmell. There also will be about $8,000 to share amongst STEM, the arts, the 4Cs and the wellness programs.

Carroll County School District partnered with Carroll County Parks and Recreation on the grant, Fremin said. Other community partners are Carroll County Public Library, JCTC, the University of Kentucky Extension Office, Champions for a Drug-Free Carroll County and Carroll County School Nutrition Office.