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Grant to fund Chesapeake after-school program

CHESAPEAKE — A $200,000 Ohio Department of Education grant has been awarded to the Chesapeake School District from the ODE’s 21st Century Community Learning Center.

The grant will fund the district’s newly instituted after-school program geared toward at-risk students at the middle school, providing extra tutoring in reading, language arts, math and science.

The program will add 12 additional hours a week of teacher-student experience with the additional goal of offering literacy and educational services to families.

“A lot of research shows that schools could improve learning by extending the school day. This is intervention time,” Dr. Scott Howard, Chesapeake school superintendent, said. “This is a huge deal. This is a huge input in the learning process.”

In Howard’s educational philosophy a child’s academic success should not be hamstrung by the time constraints of the regularly mandated school day.

“Kids are not widgets coming down the factory line,” he said. “It can take kids varying amounts of time to master a concept.”

The district’s aim is to start the after-school program with an initial enrollment of 100 students. Plus the district will provide transportation for those students.

The district can re-apply for the federally funded grant over the next four years with the potential of bringing a total of $850,000 to the program.

Another component of the after-school program will be outreach to families of the students. The district wants to offer this service to at least 40 families.

“Our goal is to build upon the partnership between home and school by working with families,” Howard said.