Como-Pickton school trustees gave approval to two grants at their April meeting. One renews the literacy grant the district received this year and the other will help replace some aging air conditioners.
The Literacy Grant will allow the district to continue implementing and expanding in its entirety the literacy program implemented this school year. C-P administrators were notified last spring that the district was one of only 30 schools selected to receive a $241,500 Texas Literacy Initiative Grant.
The program targets not only enrolled students in need of help but also allows the district to expand its literacy program to include children from birth through 12th grade. The school partnered this year with Footstep and Fingerprints day care at Elm Ridge Church to reach the youngest of children.
The project targets literacy efforts, curriculum alignment and language, and focuses on three sets of students — English language learners, special education students and struggling readers.
The day care serves as a “feeder school” for C-PCISD, where staff and parents will “get kids ready to come to school.”
“We have a teacher that goes out there for half a day, every day,” Dr. Kay Handlin, C-P superintendent noted.
The district was granted the funding to establish a literacy lab at the day care, where the district employee works for half the day with staff and students at the center, and generates parent input and involvement. The rest of the day the staff member works at the C-P campus in the literacy labs with students of all ages. Bilingual students are served in the labs as well. The grant funding was also designated to purchase software and computers, including some for use in the literacy lab. Training and online professional development are also components of the literacy project. District staff had to participate in training last spring and over the summer in order to get started.
This year has been a building year all around, for the district and day care as well as the state agency funding it, as the program is all new — both at the state and local level, and Handlin is new this year to the district also.
"It was a rocky start. We’ve been working out the kinks,” Handlin said. “I am looking forward to this next year. We will be able to address more needs.”
Teacher Christy Singleton will be part of that continueing effort. The board approved hiring Singleton as the new district literacy coach, funding made available through the grant.
The measure approved by the board will allow the district to continue the literacy program with a second dispersment of approved grant funding for the 2013-14 school year.
The second grant C-P trustees gave approval to at their regular meeting earlier this month was a Texas Cool Schools Program grant funded through the State Energy Conservation Office. Assistant Superintendent Lydia Walden prepared and submitted on behalf of the district an application for the assistance last year. Unfortunately, C-P wasn’t one of the schools selected at that time to receive funding to replace air conditioners more than 10 years old.
The district was contacted this year, however, by the agency. Walden made modifications to the original plan based on their recommendations and resubmitted the application. The district was then approved to receive more than $300,000 in funding to replace some of the schools’ aging air conditioning units. While the funding won’t allow for all units to be replaced, it will help replace “a lot of them.” The work will be completed by the summer deadline, according to Handlin.
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