Spaulding Elementary receives $100,000 grant for AfterSchool Learning

Spaulding Elementary School in Lamar was awarded a $100,000 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant to establish an afterschool learning program designed to provide the students of Spaulding Elementary with additional academic support as well as well as learning experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The program, called Pursuing Academic Achievement With STEAM (PAAWS), launched in January and currently serves approximately 100 students. PAAWS participants receive support through academic interventions and participate in a variety of enrichment activities such as dance, graphic design, Google CS First (coding), robotics, etc.
Through the grant, Spaulding Elementary has partnered with educational institutions, community churches, and community agencies/organizations, including Coker College, Francis Marion University School of Education and Florence Darlington Technical College, Lamar First Baptist, Lamar Ebenezer Charge of the United Methodist Church, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Services, and SC Pathways of Pee Dee Regional Educational Center. The program also involves local high school students in the area as mentors and leaders.

• Coker College and Francis Marion University students who are in the education program will assist with facilitating STEAM-related and enrichment learning sessions and activities with students.

• Florence-Darlington Technical College will provide learning experiences through field trips along with parent/student workshops on higher-education opportunities.

• High school students will serve as tutors as well as assist with engaging, interactive activities with students under the supervision of certified instructors. Participating in the program will benefit both high school students as well as our elementary students. Research shows that this type of cross-age approach is highly effective in building leadership and life skills in both the teenager and younger youth who receive the program, and younger youth respond well to teen tutors/volunteers who often provide a positive role model for them.

“I am excited about the many opportunities that this grant-funded program provides for our students and for our community,” said Dr. Lilkenya Jenkins, principal at Spaulding Elementary School. “The program components are designed not only to support academic support and attainment of skills that are vital for success in the 21st century, but also to strengthen partnerships among home, school, and community.”

Author: Duane Childers

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