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Fentress Schools Look To Improve After Care Education

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress Schools Look To Improve After Care Education

Fentress County Schools applied for a grant with partners at Save the Children to provide educators and curriculum for students in aftercare.

Allardt Elementary School and Pine Haven Elementary School are among some 100 applicants in the country. Save the Children State Advisor for School Aged Programs Shelby Eriksen said the program targets “bubble students,” those who may be behind or could benefit from extra instruction. She said last year, 73 percent of those bubble students in second grade and up reached needed growth by the end of the year after participating in the program.

“It’s a great opportunity to provide academic experiences outside of the school day,” Eriksen said. “A lot of families need, as well, like, after-school childcare, so we’re able to combine those two concepts and just have a really beneficial environment for the children to participate in after school.”

Eriksen said the curriculum incorporates math, literacy, and health and nutrition. She said the program targets K-5 students, but many kids have older siblings that attend aftercare with them, so the curriculum is curved to meet the needs of the group.

“Our data has shown that, for the majority of those students, if they participate regularly after school, so they’re coming on a regular basis, we’re able to catch them up to grade level by the end of the school year,” Eriksen said.

Eriksen said Save the Children’s Read Everywhere and Daily program, or “READ,” has been providing in-school literacy instruction in Fentress County Schools for two years. She said the program operates on five-year contracts, and with these two schools’ contracts set to expire this year, they decided to expand upon the opportunities provided by Save the Children through this 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

“They knew we do work in after-school literacy as well, so they reached out and wondered if we could partner with them in that grant, write the new grant application for them this year, and start implementing our curriculum if they get the grant,” Eriksen said.

She said they plan to have the application submitted before the May 1 deadline. Awards expected in July.


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