21st Century Community Learning Center grants expand after-school programs in Greenbrier County

After-school programs, including 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants, have grown in Greenbrier County in recent years.

At the Greenbrier County School Board meeting on Tuesday, November 9, Vicky Cline, Director of Technology, Assessment and Accountability of the School System, explained what grant programs are enabling schools to accomplish .

“For the 21st century grants, the first one we got was actually for the two colleges and they’re in their fifth and final year in the spring,” Cline said. “When you get one of these grants, it’s about $ 1 million over five years. [The middle schools] started with only a few students in school, and… almost 10% of their population participates in these scholarships. … We were very excited to get this grant with the two high schools, it took us two years to write this grant to get it. This is their first year.

Cline noted that the programs allow “students [to] go to dinner, and they can go straight to credit recovery. Credit recovery is set up a little differently for East and West, but it is set up so that the student can claim as many credits as they can, if they are willing to devote the time. to recovery. We hope more students will benefit from this program.

A newsletter on both programs was distributed during the meeting, outlining the basic idea and funding for each.

“Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West are in their first year of a 5-year 21st Century Community Learning Center grant and they’re off to a good start. The program, called GoGreenbrier, is based on CTE and STEAM. It will provide nearly $ 1 million in grants to Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West High Schools over five years. Students begin with a lunch offered by the National School Lunch Program, then have 30 minutes to complete homework or work on personalized learning using programs that target English and math skills. Students then move on to enrichment activities, led by teachers and student leaders. Greenbrier East’s programs include music, mural design, esports, and rifle shooting. Greenbrier West’s programs include construction trades / trail work, music, graphic design, foraging, esports, and thinking. Students also have the option of devoting their time to credit recovery.

“Eastern and Western Greenbrier Middle Schools are in the fifth and final year of their 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. The Easterns UKnight and Westerns Wolfpack programs have grown and are now part of the fabric of their schools. STEAM-based after-school programs partner with Communities in Schools of Greenbrier County, The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, and Wellspring of Greenbrier in Rupert. … Eastern UKnight has an average of 65 to 70 students per day and Western Wolfpack an average of 25 to 30.

The school hopes that the four programs will involve students more in their local communities.

“Our goal is not only to provide a safe place for our students and to help them succeed in their studies, but we want to help them become more involved in our community,” said Cline. “We have wonderful partnerships with Communities in Schools, they have worked with our students in all schools. … The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine volunteered to come and mentor students, both in college and high school.

Cline also referred to speakers at Greenbrier Valley Pride, who spoke to the Board of Education about bullying LGBTQ students. (Author’s note – this writer was one of those speakers)

“Listening to some of the [speakers during public comment] tonight one of the important things we do with all of our programs… is social and emotional regulation, ”Cline explained. “We try to teach students to think about how their actions affect other people in our school. … One of the things we try to teach our students is to be mentors for younger students and to reflect on their perspective throughout their school day, while they are working.

One of the activities at Western Greenbrier involves a high tunnel, a kind of greenhouse, which has been in the works for about two years.

“This is the one we’re especially proud of… a partnership between the West and the West,” said Cline. “We actually hired five students yesterday, and two of them are sitting here [serving as student representatives to the Board of Education], from Greenbrier West who will be mentors [and travel] at Western Greenbrier Middle School to monitor and set it up. … They installed these… amazing empty shells, they are huge, you could live there, [and] these young women will supervise college students and work with them to make it operational. “

Elementary school principal Ann Smith also briefed the board on after-school programs at the elementary level.

“Going forward, we currently have 34 in Alderson, 63 in Lewisburg, 30 in Rupert, 54 in Ronceverte, 23 in Frankford and 83 in White Sulfur. We look at what we had last year. … Last year we had 322 students in the elementary program.

Children enrolled in the program participate in various activities. Smith expanded it based on the requirement of “STEAM activities, which are science, technology, enrichment, arts, and music.” [We do] weekly fitness, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, homework help and parent involvement in the community. … Students are monitored based on their grades, attendance, behavior, state assessment grades and completion of homework. We achieved all of these goals last year.

The program is also expanding.

“We are very happy to use additional funds now, so that all of our schools will now have an after-school program. Smoot and Crichton [Elementary Schools] will start next week.

Smith enthusiastically noted a creative project that a group of students undertook that their parents could see at home.

“One of the things we need to do is, of course, involve the parents. For the past two years, we haven’t been able to do our last activity of the year, which was to bring parents in and let them participate. … We decided to create our own city. LEGO kits were ordered and every group of students our age made a simple Lego building or a more complicated LEGO building. They put it all together in one city, then the students name their city and describe their city, saying who the mayor was and writing stories. We made it a newsletter for the [at home] parents, even if they weren’t there, could see what the children were doing.

Cline thanked all the staff and volunteers at the Greenbrier County schools who make after-school programs possible.

“We are really excited about these programs,” Cline said. “The other thing I want to say is that what makes these programs successful is the people who work in them. … We appreciate that Jane Curry is working with us on the school lunch program to make this possible. We appreciate George Brooks, who provides the buses for this, allowing the students to stay. [we appreciate] teachers who are willing to stay after. … These teachers model and teach during the school day, then they stay two hours with the students and give their time to the students to improve their school and for student opportunities. Without them, these programs would not work. … We have the best programs and we are very proud of them. And we are very grateful for your support of these programs. We invite you to come and work with us.

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