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HomeNewsArchivesGuy H. Benjamin Elementary School Offers a New After-School Program

Guy H. Benjamin Elementary School Offers a New After-School Program

The Guy H. Benjamin After-school Program, “The World Around Us,” began in February and will continue through May. It is in session from 3:30-5:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday and offers a wide range of both academic and extracurricular activities for children in grades K-6. Transportation and snacks are provided, too. The program is funded through a multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. The $100,000 grant for this school year was received after a competitive grant application was written by Guy Benjamin School and its partner in the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program – the Coral Bay Community Council. It is anticipated that continuing funds will be received each year for five years with local resources — families, government and the community –making the program sustainable on a long term basis.

Each day provides 45 minutes of enrichment in reading, math, recreational and cultural activities, creative writing, counseling, mentoring and team sports. The students are able to make choices about which extracurricular activity they will participate in. The St. John School of the Arts is partnering to provide a broad curriculum of activities including yoga, drama, quelbe and drumming. There are 75 children participating.
“The World Around Us” is seeking to develop the whole child by exposing each one to experiences both in and outside the immediate environment. This philosophy enables educators to better meet objectives to improve students’ performance both academically and socially. This program will also encourage parental involvement in student activities, growth and development.
With the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools are now expected to meet goals set by their respective districts in Reading and Math. Our district has determined how our schools will make increments of improvement in Reading and Math every year. Being held accountable has forced us to look at our data closely and use that information to drive our decision making process. Our goal is to have 100 percent of students’ proficient or advanced in reading and math by 2015. The standard set by the district for 3rd – 6th grades for school year 2008-2009 was to have 37.7 percent of students proficient or advanced in reading and 38.4 percent of students proficient or advanced in math. For 2009-2010 those benchmarks have risen to 53.3 percent proficiency in reading and 53.8 percent proficiency in math. Guy H. Benjamin has been successful in attaining the cut score thus far.
Guy H. Benjamin School Facility: Guy H. Benjamin School is perfectly equipped to accommodate this after-school program. For this after-school program personnel for academic intervention and enrichment will mostly be the teachers who work at Guy H. Benjamin School and have committed themselves for specific days. There may be a need to recruit more teachers from the community, but each teacher from Guy Benjamin will already be familiar with students. All classes will be held within the classroom. Each classroom is already equipped with computers, a promethean board, desks and chairs, and is air conditioned. There is a fully functional computer lab with 15 desktop computers that can be utilized for technology classes and extended learning.
The Coral Bay Community Council will be responsible for initiating some of the special programs for both students and parents once a month. The council will help to identify and obtain additional funding resources and aid in sustaining the program long term. It will be responsible for the written survey document as well as tabulating and evaluating the survey information objectively, and will seek the detailed feedback at one or more community meetings, from both the community and parents leading to recommendations to improve the program in future years.
For additional information or to arrange a tour of the program, contact Principal Dionne Wells at the school at 776-6242. Sharon Coldren of the Coral Bay Community Council may also be contacted for information at 776-2099.
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