BOE hears program success stories

NEW MATAMORAS — Members of the Frontier Local Schools Board of Education were told Tuesday night that a program connecting high school and college students with elementary school children has been a success so far.

Second and Seven is a national project to encourage literacy and love of reading in elementary school students by bringing college and high school athletes into elementary schools as mentors for the younger children. The program was launched in Frontier schools earlier this month.

“The kids really look forward to it, hearing the high school students speak,” Newport Elementary School Principal Bill Creighton told the board.

Superintendent and Frontier High School Principal Beth Brown said the program has been welcomed by the older students as well.

“The high school students love going to the elementary schools for the mentoring and reading program,” she said. Brown said the program also involves athletes from Marietta College. The Second and Seven program started 20 years ago as an effort to improve literacy among second grade students by getting college athletes to present reading material to them and partner over long terms as mentors.

Brown told the board that the district administration is examining ways to get career information into the lower grades.

“We want to get to grades four, five, six, not that they have to decide on a career at that point, but just to help determine their interests, show them different career possibilities,” she said. “We want to have a full spectrum of what we’ll do at each grade level.”

Brown said that project is being done in coordination with the Washington County Career Center, and she expects to have a staff meeting about it in February.

Tuesday was the first regular monthly board meeting attended by two new board members, Adam Snyder of New Matamoras and Jarod Kiggans of Wingett Run. They replaced Justin Hoff and Jeffrey Webber. At its organizational meeting earlier in the month, the board elected Jeffrey Knowlton as president and Joani Reese as vice president.

In other matters, the board:

¯ Approved receipt of about $260 in donations; Knowlton made particular note that community members to date this year have contributed $150 toward paying delinquent lunch bills for needy students.

¯ Approved membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2020-21 school year.

¯ Approved two classified substitutes

¯ Accepted two students from the Switzerland of Ohio school district for interdistrict enrollment in New Matamoras Elementary School.

The next regular monthly meeting of the board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 19.