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Grant Funded After-school Program in Miami Combines Homework Hel - KOAM TV 7

Grant Funded After-school Program in Miami Combines Homework Help & Projects to Improve & Enrich Learning

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -



The Miami school district is one of just five in Oklahoma to get a fully funded 21st Century Grant. It’s worth nine hundred thousand dollars over five years providing an after-school program. Originally designed for kids below grade level or in poverty, it’s open to all and kids wanting to participate.

Tyler Stogsdill  researched a sports team for March madness. Each month has a theme in the Goals after-school program at Nichols elementary in Miami.

Learning Microsoft word students produced trivia sheets during Oklahoma month. Each day is a different station after a snack for the one hundred twenty-one students at Nichols and seventy more kindergarten through third graders who get the program at Wilson elementary.  

Nichols principal Keni Iverson is the grant director. She said, "The main goal is to provide a safe place for our kids to be after-school and give them hands on activities so they will enjoy school. They really  have and a lot of our teachers are even adapting some of the things we do after school into their classrooms."
The school doesn
t have regular art classes but student can experience it in the after-school program.

Amy Harnar who works as the school secretary teaches art in the Goals program. She said developing their own creations with crafts they may not have at home builds self-esteem. She said,  "Several students said,
I cant believe I did this! I cant wait to take this home and show my parents. "
 

The first half hour is spent on homework and reading. Teachers say being more secure in their academic abilities gives kids confidence in the classroom.

Fourth and fifth grade science teacher Courtney Billings said,  "They're more comfortable in a leadership role. They get that extra one on one time to work on their homework and things and that builds their confidence with their classwork."

Reading assessment in the Star program improved twenty-seven percent building wide. And that translates to better behavior too.

Tyler admitted,
Its making me a better student cause last year I was bad. This year these good things are happening over and over."

When asked what he enjoyed most about the after-school program he said, I like about it that it teaches you manners, teaches you good words and it helps you learn new things. Then you can teach other people. Then they can learn good manners"

And the director says there is an even better measure of success.

Iverson added,
We see more and more children wanting to join our program. That in itself is testimony that kids that are coming are really liking it."

The Goals program also holds parent nights where work is displayed and children explain their projects giving them public speaking skills.
The bulk of the grant funding is used for staff salaries and comes in bigger amounts the first three years.
          After the first three years the district is expected to financially supplement the effort.

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