Project BEAR

Grant provides opportunities for RHS students

Posted 2/22/17

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Thanks to a federal grant, students at Robertsdale High School are getting opportunities for learning and participating in activities they would not otherwise have.

At the …

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Project BEAR

Grant provides opportunities for RHS students

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Thanks to a federal grant, students at Robertsdale High School are getting opportunities for learning and participating in activities they would not otherwise have.

At the end of 2016, Robertsdale High School received a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the purpose of the grant is to “provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.

“The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.”

The grant provides funding of $150,000 per year for three years, which is being used to fund Project BEAR, an afterschool program that runs from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. each day. The main portion of the grant provides funds for a bus driver and a bus to transport students home each day following the program.

“For most of these students, they cannot participate in a lot of extra-curricular activities simply because they don’t have a way to get home afterward,” said RHS Principal Joe Roh. “Through this grant, we are able to provide transportation for students as far away as Styx River and Seminole.”

So far, 112 students have registered to participate in the free program, said program coordinator Angela Hodges. Social worker Angela Dean is also assisting with the program, Roh said. On average, about 40 students per day participate in daily activities.

“It’s a free program, so they can sign up, then choose to participate or not participate in daily activities,” she said. “Just whenever they need a place to go after school, we’re there to provide that for them.”

On a daily basis, Hodges said, the program provides tutoring for students in all subjects, plus an ACT Bootcamp to help students prepare for the college entrance test, with tutoring in both math and language arts.

The program is also adding a variety of activities, including yoga classes every Monday, and cooking classes every Wednesday with Alicia Benton from the RHS Family and Consumer Sciences department.

“We just recently received guitars and will begin having guitar lessons (with instructor Claudia Bankester),” Hodges said.

The program has also partnered with the Youth Advocate Program to provide small group instruction in areas such as anger management, career and social interaction and relationship skills.

Coastal Alabama Community College (formerly Faulkner State in Baldwin County) has also agreed to partner with the program to provide activities, Hodges said.

In the summer, the program will feature a four-week day camp, complete with activities and field trip opportunities, Hodges said.

For Roh and Hodges, their biggest needs at this point is to develop community partners to provide instructional support, along with field trip opportunities.

“We have the funding, we just need volunteers who can lend their expertise to the program,” Hodges said. “We welcome anyone who wants to talk about their business, or just about something that they have an interest in. All we’re asking of them is their time.”

For more information, contact the school at 251-947-4154 or Hodges at ahodges@bcbe.org.