Oct. 26, 2007
Story and photo by Erin McCarty
Kids on Campus recently secured a series of state and federal grants that will channel some $2.5 million over the next five years to the successful educational enrichment program for Athens-area elementary school children and teens.
The money will enable the grant-funded organization, a community partnership administered by Ohio University's College of Health and Human Services, to expand its after-school programming to a seventh site, The Plains Elementary School. The funding also will enable Kids on Campus to implement technology to help teachers and KOC coordinators track student performance, identify children who are struggling and get them help.
KOC was awarded three blocks of grants during the past few months, two of them through the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, a state government agency that helps low-income families. The agency will send a total of $787,000 to KOC over the next two years, either directly or through Athens City Schools.
The third and largest block of grants comes from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a U.S. Department of Education program that supports academic enrichment opportunities for children, particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.
The federal grants provide funding to both the Athens City and Federal Hocking school districts over five years. Federal regulations require that the money be disbursed to the school districts, which then channel the funds to Kids on Campus. The school districts will receive $200,000 each for the first three years. The amount will decrease to $150,000 in the fourth year and to $100,000 in the fifth.
While pleased about the awards, Kids on Campus Executive Director Leslie Moss said it's important to put the news in perspective.
"Although $2.5 million sounds like a lot of money," Moss said, "when you look at the number of program sites as well as the number of children this money supports over a five-year period, we are still in need of additional revenue to provide the same high-quality services for the children who need them most."
In addition to expanding after-school programming, KOC will purchase for the schools a new program that utilizes a technology called LeapTrack, offered by the same company that markets the popular LeapFrog line of electronic learning games for children. The LeapTrack system is designed to help elementary schools more efficiently assess student performance and assign individualized instruction. The system aims to help educators quickly assess each student's skills in relation to state standards, pinpoint areas for improvement and create individualized learning paths.
"This intervention program will identify where children need additional academic support and also provides activities to meet those needs in a fun and engaging way," Moss said.
The mission of Kids on Campus, now in its 12th year, is to provide academic assistance to children who need more help in order to meet mandatory testing requirements and to become proficient readers, writers and problem-solvers. In addition, children receive nutritious meals and snacks and participate in recreational and other enrichment activities. KOC operates a six-week summer program for about 325 students and after-school programs that serve more than 350 students at six elementary schools: Alexander in Albany; Amesville; Chauncey; Coolville; Trimble in Glouster; and West in Athens. The Plains Elementary program, scheduled to launch Nov. 5, will provide after-school services for up to 50 children.
If you wish to speak with a media specialist about this story, contact Communications Director Jody Grenert, Ohio University College of Health and Human Services, at 740-593-1433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.