Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
One hundred students from East North Street Academy and Thomas E. Kerns Elementary School will benefit from a $660,244 grant to attend afterschool and summer programs at Roper Mountain Science Center, thanks to a 21st Century grant announced Monday by the State Department of Education.
Called Xplorers, the program will provide 100 students in grades 3 through 5 from East North Street Academy and Thomas E. Kerns Elementary School (50 students from each school) with support to improve academic achievement and engagement in English language arts, math, and science, as well as student health and wellness. An additional goal for Xplorers is for students’ families to increase science and informational text literacy.
“Roper Mountain Science Center and Association partnered with these schools to fill a need and to provide after-school activities that will extend their learning day,” said RMSC Board President Chuck Saylors. “We are excited about the potential for each child to grow academically in the key subject areas of math, English, and science, and to improve their overall wellbeing by their participation in the program.”
Greg Cornwell, RMSC Director, added, “Our educators will achieve the goals of improving academic achievement and wellness through daily tutoring, lab activities, fitness and recreational activities, enrichment events and career programs with scientists from the community. In addition, the students’ families will be invited to participate in activities throughout the year.”
A total of 270 science-based lessons will cover topics in Astronomy, the Natural & Physical Sciences, Earth & Marine Sciences, Engineering, Living History and Health & Wellness (all based on grade-level standards and content).
“The Center will use its unique teaching facilities including a tropical rain forest, a planetarium, a living history farm, nature trails, ecology and marine labs, chemistry, physics, engineering and robotics labs, a weather center and an observatory with the eighth largest refractor telescope of its kind in the nation, “ said Cornwell.
Modules will incorporate non-fiction, science-related reading, and activities that highlight the use of math in data collection and analysis. Science modules will change each week and will enable all children to touch all areas of scientific inquiry offered at Roper Mountain. Activities and tasks align with grade-level state and Common Core standards.
The grant provides funding for four years, with $302,961 of in-kind funds provided by the Center and the district over the same period. The program will operate 15 hours each week for 30 weeks during the school year and four hours each day for four days a week for four weeks during the summer. Existing partners for Xplorers include the district, Roper Mountain Science Center, Thomas E. Kerns Elementary, East North Street Academy, the Roper Mountain Science Center Association, and Sportsclub of Greenville.