School receives grant

Published 12:07 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

Suffolk Public Schools, in partnership with Suffolk Public Libraries, announced Thursday it received a grant to provide academic enrichment opportunities outside of school hours.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant awarded Suffolk Public Schools $198,000 to offer comprehensive academic and enrichment program at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.

The grant is also renewable for three years.

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Suffolk Public Schools will use the funding to provide before-school, after-school, Saturday and summer camp programming to 75 academically at-risk students and their families. Programs will also provide programming for parents as well.

“That is the key to this grant. It’s not just about the student, but it’s about the parents as well,” said assistant superintendent Dr. LaToya Harrison. “It is very key to the work we are doing.”

The program has been named “STREAMing into Excellence.” The acronym stands for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The students will receive academic assistance in addition to literacy and mathematics enrichment, and they will also get healthy living experiences four days a week. Summer programs will feature camps that focus on specific sports. Some of the camps will focus on golf with a PGA golfing instructor, and tennis with a USTA certified instructor.

“We will be promoting health, wellness and literacy,” Harrison said.

The assistance and other programs will be offered before and after school. Eight Saturdays out of the school year, there will be family engagement activities.

While students will receive a chance for enrichment and academic tutoring, parents have the opportunity to be more engaged with their children’s academic lives and better themselves.

Parents will have the opportunity to participate in GED programs, interview skill classes and finance courses and even learn plant-based cooking.

Suffolk Public Schools will partner with a plethora of Suffolk organizations to put on the programming, including the Foodbank, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, Suffolk Golf Course and Healthy Suffolk.

“As you look at this here, it’s huge,” said Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney. “We received $198,000 based on the need of our schools, and this aligns so nicely with our mission. I’m certain they can see this through very effectively. We are expecting big things and meeting the needs of the population.”