Belpre board hears report on after-school activities

BELPRE – An Ohio University faculty member presented a program targeting after-school activities for Belpre Elementary School students to the Belpre City Schools Board of Education Monday night.

Kids on Campus is a rural community-university partnership that helps underserved, at-risk children and their families through educational, nutritional and recreational opportunities. The program started in Athens County in 1996 and has recently started to expand in other counties, said program manager Timarie Francis.

Francis said the program began as a summer opportunity but has since expanded into an after-school program to help students with homework, extend their learning day and receive intervention in reading and math.

The deadline to apply for grants to the program is in July. Board members said approval for applying for grants would be on the next agenda.

Superintendent Tony Dunn said the board would first target the elementary school, eventually targeting Belpre Junior High and High School.

The programs are at no cost to children and would keep children at school until about 5 p.m. or around dark, Francis said. Transportation would be provided, she said.

“I think this program would serve our kids well,” Dunn said.

Dunn said the program could get local children interested in continuing their education and realizing it could be an option for them.

High school language arts teacher Stephanie Evans presented board members and the audience with a power point presentation of the Kraton Landscaping Project her high school students took part in. Evans said she had never been more proud of her students after they achieved the final process of the beautification of the high school grounds.

Kraton workers helped remove plants and helped the high schoolers achieve their goals to finish the project. Business owners in the community helped as well, she said.

“I was very pleased to call them my students at the end of that project,” she said. “I know they worked so hard.”

Evans said the area around the high school gym was a focal point in the project.

Pam Green, president of the Belpre Athletic Boosters, told the board a big issue for the committee is finding volunteers, especially to work in the concession stands at sporting events.