Medora to offer after-school program for high-schoolers


Upon graduating from Medora High School, staff members and administrators want students to be equipped to move on to college or the workforce.

A free program offered in the 2017-18 school year will help make sure that happens.

Through a college and career readiness after-school program, partnerships have been developed to give students access to more classes so they will be ready to transition into a career.

Heather Richard, manager of the after-school program offered through Blue River Services Inc., said she has been working with Superintendent Roger Bane and Principal Austin Absher to figure out how they can reach high-schoolers and meet their needs.

So far, they have partnered with Ivy Tech Community College, Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and Jackson County Learning Center to offer classes currently not available to Medora students.

“Our kids won’t have to leave Medora to go somewhere else to get access to those classes,” Richard said. “They’ll be able to do it here.”

Richard said a partnership also has been developed with the Jackson County Health Department to have people talk to the students about health issues.

Information nights also will be offered to students and their parents.

“We’ll be asking for you all to tell us what you need because this is your all’s program,” Richard recently told parents during a parent/community meeting at the school. “It’s a program that’s for your kids and you and your community.”

The program is being made possible through Medora receiving $112,500 in 21st Century Community Learning Centers program grant funding.

Fifty-seven organizations that provide out-of-school-time enrichment programs throughout the state received grants, which ranged from $75,000 to $325,000 and total nearly $10.3 million. Seventy-five school corporations, nonprofits and community organizations applied for the grants.

Indiana’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers aim to increase access to high-quality non-school-hour programming across the state for students in low-performing and high-poverty schools.

The centers provide a range of services to support student learning and development, including academic enrichment, tutoring and mentoring and homework help along with music, arts, sports and cultural activities. They also offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

The federally funded program is an out-of-school-time initiative authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act and reauthorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Selected programs will be funded for up to four years beginning in 2017-18. Continued funding is based upon annual reviews and successful program implementation.

For the past three years, Medora has offered a free after-school program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It’s known as Reach for a Star.

That program currently has more than 40 students enrolled and runs from 3 to 6 p.m. every school day. Students receive snacks for the first half-hour before concentrating on homework from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The rest of the time is spent participating in club activities and special events.

There also are family night events with different themes and monthly service learning projects.

“Our after-school program is doing a lot of great things that can really help extend the academic day,” Richard said. “All of our staff are doing a great job extending that academic piece for your kids.”

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For information about Medora’s after-school program, call 812-966-2201 or search for “Medora’s Reach for a Star Afterschool Program” on Facebook.