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Finance Committee Backs Summer Camps, Considers Early Head Start Funding

April 4, 2007 — Students hoping for an educational summer vacation received good news Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve $400,000 for the Department of Education’s Summer Science and Humanities Enrichment programs on St. Croix and St. Thomas.
In testimony before the committee, acting Education Commissioner Lauren Larsen described the program, which started last year, and how it benefits students. Both St. Thomas and St. Croix had math- and science-focused summer schools and both St. Croix’s Island Center and St. Thomas’ Pistarckle Theater held performing arts summer camps.
Larsen said 76 students attended St. Croix’s Mathematics and Science Academy last summer; 35 in junior high and 41 high school students. “Each class followed the scientific method and made oral presentations," said Larsen.
“The students demonstrated their ability to apply math and science concepts to real-life environmental problems relevant to the Virgin Islands,” said Larsen.
St. Thomas’s science summer school served 61 students. All components of the program on both islands, including the two theater camps, served a total of 244 students.
After amending the bill to provide funding through 2010, the committee voted to approve the funding bill and send it on to the Rules and Judiciary Committee, the next step toward final passage.
In other news, the committee heard testimony about the territory's Early Head Start program from Junia Straker, executive director of Lutheran Social Services (LSS), and Masserae Sprauve-Webster, director of the Queen Louise Home for Children.
The home runs the territory's sole Early Head Start program, which serves children under the age of three. “The purpose of the program is to partner with parents to promote the development of the total child,” said Sprauve-Webster.
When asked by Sen. Ronald Russell what they taught to such very young children, Sprauve-Webster explained, “It is not a formal curriculum. We read to them, of course. We do art, take walks and strolls. We’ve spent quite a bit of money on all sorts of environmental toys, games and things of that nature.”
Sprauve-Webster explained the federal grant supporting Early Head Start allows them to serve 48 individuals in three separate programs. Twenty-four children are in a full-day classroom program, 12 are in a home-based program, and 12 eligible pregnant women receive prenatal and post-partum support and counseling.
The federal grant is for $615,253. LSS must match with $153,971, for a total of $769,224. LSS established the Early Head Start program on St. Croix in 2001. There is no program on St. Thomas.
While LSS needs $153,971 in matching funds, no bill or request for funds was on the table.
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April 4, 2007 -- Students hoping for an educational summer vacation received good news Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve $400,000 for the Department of Education’s Summer Science and Humanities Enrichment programs on St. Croix and St. Thomas.
In testimony before the committee, acting Education Commissioner Lauren Larsen described the program, which started last year, and how it benefits students. Both St. Thomas and St. Croix had math- and science-focused summer schools and both St. Croix’s Island Center and St. Thomas’ Pistarckle Theater held performing arts summer camps.
Larsen said 76 students attended St. Croix’s Mathematics and Science Academy last summer; 35 in junior high and 41 high school students. “Each class followed the scientific method and made oral presentations," said Larsen.
“The students demonstrated their ability to apply math and science concepts to real-life environmental problems relevant to the Virgin Islands,” said Larsen.
St. Thomas’s science summer school served 61 students. All components of the program on both islands, including the two theater camps, served a total of 244 students.
After amending the bill to provide funding through 2010, the committee voted to approve the funding bill and send it on to the Rules and Judiciary Committee, the next step toward final passage.
In other news, the committee heard testimony about the territory's Early Head Start program from Junia Straker, executive director of Lutheran Social Services (LSS), and Masserae Sprauve-Webster, director of the Queen Louise Home for Children.
The home runs the territory's sole Early Head Start program, which serves children under the age of three. “The purpose of the program is to partner with parents to promote the development of the total child,” said Sprauve-Webster.
When asked by Sen. Ronald Russell what they taught to such very young children, Sprauve-Webster explained, “It is not a formal curriculum. We read to them, of course. We do art, take walks and strolls. We’ve spent quite a bit of money on all sorts of environmental toys, games and things of that nature.”
Sprauve-Webster explained the federal grant supporting Early Head Start allows them to serve 48 individuals in three separate programs. Twenty-four children are in a full-day classroom program, 12 are in a home-based program, and 12 eligible pregnant women receive prenatal and post-partum support and counseling.
The federal grant is for $615,253. LSS must match with $153,971, for a total of $769,224. LSS established the Early Head Start program on St. Croix in 2001. There is no program on St. Thomas.
While LSS needs $153,971 in matching funds, no bill or request for funds was on the table.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.