On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, BCSD and NOC received a one-year award of $163,500 from the 2015 South Carolina Community Block Grants for Education for innovation in public-private partnership. The grant will fund two new NOC Program Centers to provide learning opportunities outside the school day to at-risk students in downtown Beaufort.
About 100 children, mainly African Americans, from high-poverty neighborhoods (Parkview and Marsh Point Apartments, both public housing complexes) in downtown Beaufort will receive after-school tutoring support, computer-based learning, and summer learning to improve academic achievement in math, reading, and language arts. This program is expected to begin in early May.
The Beaufort Initiative has raised $22,000 in funds to sustain the project. A $50,000 matching grant has been offered by an anonymous out-of-state donor if the Initiative raises $50,000 locally.
BCSD Superintendent Jeff Moss: “NOC’s track record at HHI and Bluffton is a strong one. The focus in Beaufort will be to increase student achievement and family engagement while reducing the achievement gap. Our data indicate the NOC is successful at doing that.”
Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans: “This truly was a collaborative, community-wide effort. Our challenge now is to build momentum for continued funding so we can sustain the project.”
Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling: “The project fills an important gap in the downtown Beaufort area left by the closing of the Boys and Girls Club. The data from existing NOC programs clearly demonstrate that young people who get extra attention and help – and receive that help in a safe place – improve not only academically but socially, too. And that helps to build a stronger sense of community in our neighborhoods. I can’t think of a better investment.”
The Education Oversight Committee noted that the proposed downtown Beaufort program, “which operates outside of regular school hours during the afternoons, weekends and during the summer, includes evidence-based practices aimed at improving achievement, attendance, family engagement and behavior. An innovative part of the program is that it takes place in the neighborhoods where the children and families live, alleviating the need for additional transportation costs.”
For more information, see:
Island Packet: http://www.islandpacket.com/2015/03/31/3675797/tutoring-program-for-at-risk-kids.html
Beaufort County School District: http://www.beaufort.k12.sc.us/pages/BCSD/News/District_awarded_tutoring_gran