Grant will expand Crestview program

NEW WATERFORD — Crestview Elementary students may soon get to take advantage of a new free after-school program that will involve both learning and fun.

Thanks to a $200,000 21st Century Grant from the state, Crestview students in grades kindergarten through fifth will be able to participate in the program starting on Oct. 7.

Superintendent Matthew Manley said this program will give Crestview schools a chance to provide enrichment for the students, both affordably and practically.

Students will be able to not only receive help on their homework from teachers involved in the program, but they will be able to participate in STEM activities, fine arts, theater, learn about wellness with snacks provided and go on field trips to local orchards and businesses. Students will get an opportunity to learn some robotics and play Minecraft.

The YMCA, which had already partnered with Crestview schools for a paid after-school program, will now be able to provide lessons for students in this program in areas such as archery, yoga and karate.

Manley said Robert O’Hara, the director of the YMCA program, is excited about this new opportunity. Even if all the parents decide to change from the paid after-school program to this new opportunity, it will allow them to run some new programs.

Manley noted students will have the opportunity to be involved in a “smorgasbord” of activities. The parents also should get more family time with their students, because homework will already be completed by the time students return from the program.

Students signing up for the program will stay after school from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Transportation home by school bus will be provided.

The program will be held on most nights, Monday through Friday, unless there are parent-teacher conferences scheduled or the school is forced to cancel due to inclement weather.

If the program is successful, Manley said the grant can be renewed for another four years. That would mean $1 million total toward the district.

For the program to be considered successful, students need to show educational growth whether they start out the program struggling, at the top of the class or somewhere in between. Students signing up for the program also need to attend 80 percent of the time.

Manley said the grant was obtained through a joint effort of administrators and staff from both Crestview and Lisbon schools with the assistance of the leadership from the Columbiana County Educational Service Center — Carol Straub, John Dilling and Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn.

“I’m very proud of the ESC, our team and the team from Lisbon,” Manley said. “Honestly it was their leadership that helped get it done.”