(Leitchfield, KY) - Paw Pals is coming to Wilkey Elementary this spring. The school has been awarded a 21st Century Learning Center Grant and will receive $150,000 per school year for a three-year period. There is potential for an additional two years of funding, for a five-year total of $675,000.
Paw Pals will provide a unique before and after school program with tutoring and enrichment activities. The concept will be similar to the middle school’s successful Cougar Zone, also funded by a 21st Century Learning Grant.
Starting this spring, Paw Pals will operate for several weeks to offer homework help before school. A four-week summer session will focus on college and career readiness, academics and enrichment activities. The program will kick into full gear next school year, with both before and after school programming.
The academic side of the program will emphasize math and reading proficiency. With the new state focus that all students be college and career ready, “they must be proficient, to reach those goals,” said Jennifer Stikeleather, school counselor and Paw Pals program director. Enrichment will center around cultural, recreational and social activities.
The grant will open a variety of opportunities to parents of participating students through GED and literacy classes. A number of skills classes will be offered covering topics such as computers, first aid and CPR, nutrition, parenting and employability. “We’ll also be able to offer programs to support parents in working even more effectively with their children academically,” said Stikeleather.
Industry, law enforcement and many community agencies are partnering with the school to bring the Paw Pals initiative to Wilkey families.
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center is serving as grant co-applicant to offer health screenings and healthy living sessions. “Any opportunity that brings the school system and TLRMC together has the potential to help our community take shape,” said Deneace Clemons, hospital COO. “Industries, schools, and local officials must take advantage of grant opportunities that can create a stronger, smarter, healthier community.”
Principal, Gwen Lucas is excited about the opportunities that will be available. “The ability to offer after school programs is so constructive for students, whether it’s homework and tutoring, or any number of activities we’ll be able to make available. This type of program has been successful at the middle school and I look forward to the possibilities we will be able to provide our own students and their families.”