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School system receives $5.1M in after-school program grants
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Parents may have the opportunity not to rush to pick up their kids from learning and enrichment this year after the school district received enough grant money to expand its after-school programs.

Newton County School System (NCSS) was awarded three federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grants from the Georgia Department of Education, netting the school system $5.1 million over the next five years and providing 21st Century After-School Programs (ASAP) to Middle Ridge Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, West Newton Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Flint Hill Elementary, Indian Creek Middle, Eastside High, Newton High, and the Washington Street Community Center.

The grants expand ASAP, targeting students identified as needing after-school services and remediation but whose families cannot afford the tuition-based program already in place.

“I am thrilled that the hard work and efforts of Deena Sams, community collaboration coordinator, and Kathy Garber, grant writer, have paid off for our students and community,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “Our after-school programming enhances students’ academic performance both in the classroom as well as on standardized assessments. Students are provided with multiple opportunities to apply what they have learned in their classrooms to ‘real-world’ problems and situations.”

NCSS was also awarded continuation of a current $2.5 million grant for Clements Middle, Cousins Middle, Liberty Middle, Veterans Memorial Middle and Alcovy High schools. These programs are entering the third of a five-year award. With the expansion of the program, 800 students will receive free academic assistance and family support through the CCLC.

Parents of students who qualify for the program based on federal guidelines for the grant will be notified by Sams.
ASAP is a collaborative effort involving the Newton County Community Partnership, the Recreation Department, the Arts Association, Newton County Reads and the Covington Police Department. The school system has a long-standing relationship with the Community Partnership, which includes representatives from a number of organizations such as KidsNet, the Literacy Coalition, Gwinnett/Rockdale/Newton Mental Health, the Juvenile Courts and Juvenile Justice and the Health Department, who, together with the school district, continue to seek ways to improve the lives of young people, according to an NCSS press release.

Objectives of the ASAP program include improved performance in core academic areas with an emphasis on reading and math, improved homework completion, class participation and behavior, opportunities for students to be more involved in the arts and recreation, and increased parent involvement in children’s education and development.

Activities will be learner-focused with enrichment and remediation presented through innovative lessons, student projects, small group learning and technology.

“These programs will provide an array of activities aimed at increasing academic achievement,” Sams said. “The 21st Century ASAP takes learning beyond the classroom and exposes students to educational opportunities they might not otherwise have. We are extremely excited to have this program in Newton County and to now have an after-school program in every school.”

For more information about the grants or after-school opportunities at your child’s school, contact Sams at 770-787-1330 ext. 1271.