$1M boost for schools

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FRANKLIN—Franklin City Public Schools have received two grants that could total more than $1 million for expanding after-school programs at J.P. King Middle and Franklin High schools.

The two schools will collectively receive $350,000 for each of the next three years through the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Education. The amount is contingent upon the availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

“The purpose of the program is to provide students extended learning time before and after school through academic programs and opportunities for enrichment,” division superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle said. “The funding will support increased tutoring opportunities, summer enrichment programs, after-school clubs and other enrichment activities to boost student success.”

Belle added that the grant funds would also support programs to encourage parent involvement and adult education, including training in technology and parenting skills

The division will conduct a survey of parents and students at both schools over the next two weeks to determine what activities they would like to see funded through the grants. Both schools will also be required to hire a site coordinator to oversee implementation of the programs.

The after-school programs should begin in mid-October, the same month the funds will become available.

“According to research, after-school programs that increase learning time are contributing factors to closing achievement gaps and accelerating student achievement,” Belle said. “Providing additional academic enrichment opportunities for children outside of regular school hours will certainly help us make a difference in the lives of the youth and families we serve.”