WELLINGTON — The Ohio Department of Education this week awarded Wellington Schools $2 million in grants that will be used for afterschool programs to support literacy and math in the younger grades and college and career planning at the high school.
Wellington was one of several districts throughout the state to receive money under the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants.
According to a news release from the Ohio Department of Education, priority was given to schools with well-planned programs in rural areas.
Wellington will receive $400,000 every year for five years to support a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County and to have a permanent college and career readiness adviser at the high school.
Superintendent Ed Weber said the staff worked “pretty feverishly” to get the applications in for this competitive grant. Out of 300 applications, 107 programs were awarded money, according to the state.
For kindergarten through eighth grade, the focus will be on afterschool programs, math and literacy tutoring and anti-bullying efforts.
He called the Boys and Girls Club a “perfect partner” for this.
“We’re so excited it’s a reality,” Weber said.
At the high school, the district was able to have a college adviser only one day every other week — or 18 days total through the school year — but with the grant money, the district can afford to have someone on staff every day.
The district will provide free SAT/ACT after-school classes along with after-school nutrition programs and an activity bus that will transport kids who stay later for clubs and activities.
“(Transportation) is a roadblock for some families that have to get on the 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. bus and then they can’t do these things,” Weber said.
The money can be used for only the items proposed in the grant applications.
Weber’s goal is to bring all the younger students up to grade level for middle school and high school and to give all graduating seniors options when it comes to their futures.
He said the goal is not to get everyone to college, but to get everyone who wants to go to college accepted and to get everyone who wants to be in a career right after high school ready for the working world.
Right now, Weber said about 50 percent to 60 percent of the graduating class attends college.
“What I want to promise as a superintendent is that every kid will have an acceptance letter to go to college if they want to go and to have a career trade that they’ll have skills that the workplace needs so they can walk out of high school and say, ‘I can get a job doing this,’” Weber said. “I want to make sure that whatever they want to do, they can.”
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