Sulphur Springs ISD awarded $153,000 in grants
By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
Apr. 20, 2007 - Sulphur Springs Independent School District recently received $153,000 in grants to improve middle school students' understanding of math, to provide a safe place for those students to be before and after school, and to improve literacy among special populations.
The school district received a $150,000 21st Century Community Learning Grant to offer the before- and after-school JUMP program — Juniors Understanding Mathematics Plus — at Sulphur Springs Middle School.
It will give SSMS students a "fun and safe place to be before and after school," according to Grants Coordinator Sherry Garrard.
The program will operate 15 hours a week and serve 102 students beginning Sept. 4. A six-week summer program will also be offered in 2008 at SSMS.
The program picks up where the SSPARKS after school program at Douglas Intermediate School leaves off, providing a place for students to be during the transitional time between the school day and the end of the traditional work day, a need parents of SSPARKS students have voiced over the last three years.
The program will offer such activities as Homework Help, Miracle Math, AKA Science, Around the World, Radical Readers, Junior Artists and Sports Galore. Each session is designed to enhance learning through interactive, hands-on activities.
�Overall, the district could receive just over a half a million dollars for the program over the course of the next four years, according to Garrard. The district can apply for the grant funding for up to four years, receiving $150,000 the first two years, 20 percent of the original amount the third year, and 20 percent of the amount funded the third year during funding year four.
Garrard said the district was also notified by Dollar General Foundation that, out of 640 schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations that applied, SSISD is one of only 91 designated to receive a Youth Literacy Grant this year.
The $3,000 grants will benefit the district's 178 bilingual students ages 6 through 10 in grades one through four. It will be used to purchase "yellow books" which feature text side by side in both English and Spanish. The purpose of the dual language books is to help the students achieve the desired grade level reading skills as prescribed by the state, Garrard said.
"Dollar General is committed to supporting schools and nonprofit organizations that help children realize their full potential through literacy and basic education. We applaud Sulphur Springs Independent School District for their hard work and dedication to promoting literacy," David Perdue, Dollar General's chairman and chief executive officer, noted in a prepared release from the company.