Somerset Co. Designs After School Program to Improve Students' A - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset Co. Designs After School Program to Improve Students' Academic Performance

WESTOVER, Md.- Students struggling in the classroom could soon receive more instruction through an after school program in Somerset County.

Leo Lawson, a spokesperson for Somerset County's Public School System, said school officials want to establish the Somerset Achievement Intervention Literacy and S.T.E.M. Program to help children in low-income areas improve their academic performance. Lawson said the Board of Education is awaiting a $824,102 grant that will be provided by the state. 

The after school program will operate out of Somerset Intermediate, Princess Anne Elementary, Woodson Elementary and Greenwood Elementary Schools. Lawson said the sessions will last three hours, four days a week. 

 "The good thing about the program is that students will receive instruction that is tightly linked to state standards," Lawson said.  

 He said the program will support 190 students between the third and seventh grade. All participants must meet certain requirements.

" The qualifications will be that students must be struggling with reading and mathematics, " Lawson said. "Their teachers, instruction facilitators, test scores and a variety of other things will be looked at." 

Lawson said an evening meal will be provided, giving children a chance to eat three meals a day. Currently, every student in Somerset County receives free breakfast and lunch. Shameka Church, a single mother of three, said it will be a big help to the community.

"I know some kids personally don't have three meals a day. So, the only food they really depend on is at school," Church said.

Lawson said the BOE should receive the grant by the end of the year. He said the money will span over three years, but once it is gone, officials will reapply for funding.

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