The Plattsburgh Press-Republican editorialized yesterday about “how to make a smoother path for our children” after last spring’s blame-game filled budget battles. The Press-Republican asked, “How can we support the teachers so they know we value their very essential role in shaping young lives?... How can we make up for the after-school programs that have been lost? How can we make sure our students still have art and music to stimulate their minds and souls? How can we assure that each student will be protected, nourished, encouraged?” The editorial concluded with a call to action for the community: “This is not about money; this is about solutions. We have caring community-service organizations and sports fans and parents groups and retirees who can come up with innovative ideas.”
Zero Hour, an afterschool program focusing on improving academic achievement, homework help and providing time for teachers to build relationships with kids, helped Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School in Colorado Springs win the 2012 School of the Year runner up award. According to The Gazette, judges were impressed by the school’s academics and the system it has put in place to promote intervention for all students. “We are really excited about the honor,” Principal Lori Smith said. “The programs we offer are a huge reason our test scores are high and we have sustained achievement.” The award was bestowed by the National Association of Middle School Principals.
For the first time, 13 of Chattanooga’s nonprofit groups and agencies, including Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, Goodwill, YMCA and Boy and Girl Scouts, are being evaluated in a three-part analysis that found that area afterschool programs “need to do a better job of encouraging academic work, helping with that work and involving youth in their decision-making.” The pilot study began more than a year ago and started with a workshop in which nonprofit and agency workers were trained to self-examine and collect data. “Chattanooga has never had any standards for after-school programs and ... (the programs) play a huge role in impacting youth,” Julie Thomsen, director of partner relations at United Way, told the Times Free Press.The analysis is being conducted by the Michigan-based David P. Weikart Center.
An afterschool program offering tutoring, nutrition education, mentoring and nutritious meals to children at risk of hunger kicked off its third year of programming in Rockingham earlier this week. Kids Café program coordinator J.C. Watkins told the Richmond County Daily Journal “We’re seeing that children are being exposed to a lot of nutritious foods that they wouldn’t necessarily get at home. They’re getting fruit and milk and things that are good for the body.”