|F.O.R.T. Adventure mixes work, play|
|Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:42 PM|
Sixty-five students from grades 1-4 participate in the program held from 3-4:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. At 3 p.m., the students are dismissed from classes and meet in the gymnasium to burn off some energy and take part in an exercise regimen under the direction of Shelley Mumaw, who is the District Director of Technology and has coordinated the program events for two years. She explained how the enrichment part of the program works.
After leaving the gymnasium, the students connect in the cafeteria for a healthy snack and engage in a social setting with other students. At 3:30 p.m., the students are divided into groups and move into classrooms for the enrichment and homework part of the program starts. During this session, teachers work with groups of 5 to 10 students for an hour on studies like spelling assignments, currency calculations and learning Spanish. Enrichment activities include school spirit buttons and figures, science-related cooking class and crafts, flower pots and hats.
“Each day, a group of students will attend an hour-long session working with a teacher on homework for one half-hour and then spend the rest of the hour working on an enrichment project.” Mumaw described the change in activities. “On Wednesday, the groups of students have a different teacher, receive assistance with homework and participate in a new hands-on enrichment activity.”
Fort Jennings Elementary Principal Kathy Verhoff believes the program is a great opportunity for the kids. Since beginning the program four years ago, the response from students and parents has been overwhelming.
“Mrs. Mumaw does a fantastic job,” Verhoff spoke with great enthusiasm. “It is something the students receive above and beyond their daily education.”
The initiative, Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS), is a unique Federal grant-making program designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation’s youth, schools, and communities and strengthen healthy child development. Since 1999, school districts-in collaboration with local mental health and juvenile justice providers-have received grants using a single application process. These grantees are implementing comprehensive programs that address all of the following five elements; safe school environments and violence prevention activities, alcohol and other drug prevention activities, student behavioral, social, and emotional supports, mental health services and early childhood social and emotional learning programs.
The grant was written by the Putnam County Educational Service Center in Ottawa, OH.
The after school program has been quite successful. Parents, as well as the students, are very enamored with the volunteer based curriculum.
For more information on the program, teachers and student activities, visit these sites jennings.noacsc.org/Elementary/FORTAdventure.aspx and sshs.samhsa.gov.