Hutchinson, Lincoln Announce $575,000 grant for THS

Friday, June 22, 2001

Senators Tim Hutchinson and Blanche Lincoln announced last week that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded $4,846,568 in grants to nine school districts throughout Arkansas, including a $575,092 grant to Trumann Schools. Awarded through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, this funding will help schools plan, implement, or expand projects that benefit the educational, health, social services, cultural, and recreational needs of the community.

"From drug prevention to literacy programs to character education, this funding will not only benefit Arkansas students, but also will benefit entire communities," said Senator Tim Hutchinson. "As a member of the Senate, Health, Education, and Labor Committee, I am pleased that this important funding has been awarded to Arkansas."

"This money gives local school districts resources they can use to address community educational goals and objectives," said Lincoln. "Programs like this allow Arkansas students and community members to focus on their own unique educational needs, and allows them to mold a program to best meet those specific demands."

On Tuesday, June 12, Senator Hutchinson's office notified officials of the Trumann School District that they were awarded the grant.

According to Joe Waleszonia, Superintendent, "The district will receive $575,092 each year for the next three years to offer after school programs and summer programs to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The program will also include adult continuing education activities in technology, literacy, child care and leisure activities.

"The purpose of the Trumann Lifelong Learning Center (TLLC) is to improve student achievement in literacy and mathematics, school attendance and parent involvement" explained Karleen Sheets, Curriculum Director and author of the proposal. "We also hope to see a reduction in discipline problems and the number of children and youth involved in court cases," Sheets continued.

The following groups will work together to implement the project: Trumann School District, Jonesboro YMCA, Trumann's Promise: The Alliance for Youth, Trumann School District Parent Center, the City of Trumann (police department and library), Arkansas State University, Mid-South Health Systems, Delta Technical Institute, and the Trumann Fine Arts Council.

The Jonesboro YMCA will offer after-school and summer programs on the Cedar Park campus for students in Kindergarten through 6'h grades. Tutoring in Math, English, Social Studies and Science will be available after school for students in 2nd- I e grades.

Mini-classes and clubs will be offered to students in 7b-12* grades. Classes will include topics such as babysitting, personal training and wellness, and multimedia technology. Clubs will be based on student interest and will include activities such as drama and music club, website design club and debate club.

Adult continuing education activities for all adults in the community will include computer classes and parent education classes. A variety of leisure and personal enrichment classes such as floral design and small engine repair will also be offered.

Two computers, a printer and scanner will be put in the Trumann Library to allow students, parents and other members of the community to do research and projects when the schools are closed.

A school resource officer and social worker will be hired to address attendance and other issues interfering with student achievement. They will also present activities during after school and summer activities focusing on the prevention of violent behavior and alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

The Project Director and Activities Coordinator will work closely with the principals, teachers and students to schedule activities in which students and adults want to participate. "We just heard about our funding and are now beginning to plan implementation. We are excited about the opportunities that will be available to our students, their families and other members of our community. We want our students to be at school every day and participate in activities that they are interested in," said Waleszonia. Specific details about activities will be available in mid-August.

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