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Sinai receives $600,000 grant for after school/summer programs

South Boston News
Sinai Elementary School Principal Mike Wilborne, surrounded by teachers and School Superintendent Paul Stapleton and Elementary Supervisor Linda Owen, stood on his head after announcing that the school received a three-year grant in the amount of $600,000 to fund after-school summer school and special programs. (SOMcL photo) / September 03, 2010
Sinai Elementary School Principal Mike Wilborne was so excited about his big news on Thursday that he literally stood on his head.

The big news: Sinai Elementary School is the recent recipient of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant in the amount of $200,000 per year for the next three years, making it a total of $600,000.

“This funding,” Wilborne said, “will allow Sinai Elementary School to provide quality after school and summer programs. These academic and enrichment opportunities will focus on problem solving and reasoning skills, nurturing students’ skills and talents, and team building activities. Students will be introduced to new learning activities and strategies that will support a range of positive academic and developmental outcomes.”

In addition the after school program will provide opportunities for family members to participate in GED programs, community college classes, technology classes and have access to the media center during the extended hours.

Sinai’s 21st Century Community Learning Center will embrace the parents/guardians and work on building strong relationships with them through family nights and other opportunities.

The staff at Sinai is excited about receiving this special grant. Teachers and paraprofessionals will be working extended times to provide the enrichment programs for parents and students at the school, Wilborne said. The principal said he expects the programs to begin in late September and one of the first will be after school programs which will last from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m.

The grant allows for payment for bus transportation of students who are willing to spend the extra time to improve their skills. He said he plans to hold the special sessions, probably three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and teachers will receive extra compensation for their time spent during these sessions.

Wilborne is also hopeful that special off site trips can be arranged for students since he felt that many have no opportunity to visit museums, historic sites and special programs.

Wilborne is also happy about the opportunities offered to the parents of students at the school. “There is just so much we can do with this money and I believe that our test scores will improve significantly because of it. We are just absolutely thrilled,” he said.

Sinai is the only county elementary school to receive the special funds which are federal funds awarded by the state. Last year both Halifax County High School and Halifax County Middle School received the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants in the amounts of $175,000 per year for a three year period.

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