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Clairton receives grant, opens new summer program

Monday, April 29, 2013, 2:16 a.m.
 

Clairton City School District is initiating a new summer program with a $32,000 grant from the YMCA national program.

The Consortium for Public Education assisted with the grant process.

The Consortium administers the district's CASTLE program — Clairton's After-School Teaching and Learning Experience. It's a program for fifth- through eighth-graders Monday through Thursday, 2:45-5:45 p.m.

Consortium consultant and CASTLE program director Patricia Gennari said at Wednesday night's school board meeting that the summer program, a full-day reading, math and recreation camp, is for students entering first and second grades.

It begins June 17 and runs Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for six weeks. The program includes breakfast, lunch and a snack. About 32 students will be served in the new program.

District spokesperson Alexis Trubiani is credited for beginning the process of working with the YMCA.

“Actually, a parent approached me and suggested I look into the YMCA and a possible program in Clairton,” she said. “I looked into it, met with the YMCA, and with the help of (district Superintendent Wayde) Killmeyer, (district director of curriculum and federal programs Ginny) Hunt and the Consortium, we were lucky to secure this program. This program will be great for our young students and the opportunities are endless ... This will help them be prepared and move up, where in the past people have always categorized us as being behind. We've never had a program that focused solely on first and second grade. This program will do all that and it will help them advance as well as exposing them to new experiences and fun.”

Killmeyer said Trubiani brought the idea before the school board, which took it to the Consortium in an effort to apply for the grant. The application was submitted in May 2012.

“I think it's going to be a great thing for our kids,” Killmeyer said. “We need all the help we can get, not only in helping give students additional skills in the classroom, but we can help them to not lose over the summer the skills that they gained during the school year ... Now that the program is going to be implemented, it's going to run concurrently with our regular summer tutoring program.”

The regular summer tutoring is 4 12 hours per day with breakfast and lunch for students entering third through eighth grades.

The YMCA will supply the curriculum, recreation and other necessary supplies for the new initiative. District staff will run the camp.

Hunt will be in charge of both summer programs.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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