Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 10, 2013

$750K grant for school program

Grant money to go toward after-school community centers in Kokomo.

(Continued)

The Kokomo Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo will support the center in Kokomo’s northwest neighborhood and help write grants to secure other funding sources.

Kokomo Urban Outreach and the Neighborhood Community Churches United volunteered to promote and market the after-school centers in the neighborhoods and churches they serve.

AndyMark Inc. is offering to provide hardware for students to build robotics and staff for robotics education programs and events.

The Kokomo Housing Authority will offer its Homework Club teacher for about 10 hours a week and use of its Garden Square Community Room and computer lab.

The list goes on and on.

“It was amazing all the services they were willing to provide in-kind,” said Assistant Superintendent Pennye Siefert. “That makes it a community program.”

Their willingness to step up and help out may have been the reason the district received the grant.

McGrath said the support of all of these community organizations and businesses shows that the program is sustainable and more likely to succeed.

“This is about community investments,” she said. “They were essential. Is there a stronger word than that?”

Siefert said the partners were probably so eager to jump on board because the community centers fulfill some of the goals they’ve had, too.

But before, these organizations didn’t have the funding or the resources to take on such an endeavor.

Deb Cook, executive director for the Kokomo Housing Authority, said that’s true.

She’s always looking for ways to help her residents in Dunbar Court and Garden Square apartments get extra education and training to help them become self-sufficient.

“This will bring in extra resources,” she said.

They have two teachers for their Homework Club. But the services they can provide with two people is limited.

“This is huge for us, for our children,” she said. “This will really enhance what they’re learning in science and math.”

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