December 27, 2016
Spencer Penn Centre’s SPICE (Spencer Penn Investing in Children’s Education) Program and the Boys & Girls Club of the Blue Ridge are teaming up to offer after school and summer programming to area students.
The Harvest Foundation provided a grant of $403,019 over two-and-a-half years to support the implementation of the “MAP Collaborative” program, in partnership with parents and personnel from Henry County Public Schools and Martinsville City Public Schools, to build on the learning that happens during the school day. The program also will address the issue of summer learning loss.
According to the program application from Spencer Penn and Boys & Girls Club, more than one-third of low-income students begin kindergarten not ready for school, and by the time they reach the fourth grade, 50 percent will not be at grade level in reading.
The MAP Collaborative will recruit Student Success Coaches, who will be trained by MAP trainers. MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress, the assessment used by HCPS and MCPS to measure student progress throughout the school year.
Classroom teachers will be invited to give input on types of activities that will best address students’ academic weaknesses, and the program’s activities will be aligned to the Virginia SOL’s.
“Since 1927, Spencer Penn has been deeply engaged in education, so we are thrilled that the Harvest Foundation has allowed us to continue our SPICE program through the MAP Collaborative,” said Mary Jordan, executive director of Spencer Penn Centre. “We are particularly excited about expanding our program to the next level through collaboration with Boys and Girls Club.”
The Map Collaborative program will support around 225 students during its pilot year. Partnership with families also is vital as coaching session summary reports will be given to parents following each session.
Bethann James, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, said she’s grateful for funding to get the MAP Collaborative off the ground.
“As a result of this funding, the BGCBR will further be able to meet its mission to serve the kids, especially those who need us most,” James said. “ I am also excited to be working with the Spencer Penn Centre who pioneered this program and made it possible for our vulnerable student population to get the much-needed academic support they need.”
DeWitt House, senior program officer at the Harvest Foundation added, “The collaboration between Spencer-Penn and the Boys & Girls Club is a great opportunity to expand the success of the pilot project SPICE, which was funded (in 2015) with a PUP (Pick Up the Pace!) grant. This gives these two organizations the opportunity to scale up the original project, which if successful, could help leverage other outside funding sources in the future. These organizations are also providing much needed assistance in addressing the problem of summer learning loss and the need for additional supports in after school programs for struggling youth. We look forward to seeing the continued success of the pilot project on a much larger scale.”
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