COLLEGE PARK – Principals from six College Park area schools were presented with education grants at the city’s council meeting on Feb. 9. College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn posed for pictures with the grant recipients, and each of the principals and representatives at the meeting had an opportunity to explain how this extra funding will […]
COLLEGE PARK – Principals from six College Park area schools were presented with education grants at the city’s council meeting on Feb. 9.
College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn posed for pictures with the grant recipients, and each of the principals and representatives at the meeting had an opportunity to explain how this extra funding will help an individual program at their respective school.
“We are using the funds to increase parent engagement by purchasing translation software,” said University Park Elementary School Principal Toi Davis, whose school has a large percentage of Hispanic students with parents who may not speak English. “I am very excited that our school will have our own equipment. This limits the need to request the use of county equipment and the travel time needed to retrieve and return the equipment.”
Ten total schools will receive grants from the city, which total either $2,500 or $7,500 depending on the number of College Park-area students that attend the school, according to Education Advisory Committee Chair Carolyn Bernache.
“College Park neighborhood public schools must have at least 14 College Park students in order to be included in the grant process. Applications are sent out to qualifying schools in September and must be submitted in early October,” Bernache said. “The submitted grants are then reviewed by the Educational Advisory Committee in mid-October. The committee’s recommendations are presented to the city council in early November and the city council adopts those recommendations in mid-November.”
The four schools with the highest number of students from College Park (Hollywood Elementary, Paint Branch Elementary, Greenbelt Middle School and Parkdale High School) received grants of $7,500. The remaining six schools were awarded $2,500 for their programs.
“They may seem like rather small amounts, but all of our principals tell us each year how the grants support the learning environment of their buildings,” Bernache said. “We have also given grants to support tutoring programs, reading enhancement programs, parent involvement and Saturday school to name a few.”
Each school submitted a grant application for a specific program or unique need, including High Point High School’s SAT Saturday School Program, Greenbelt Middle School’s college awareness initiative and Parkdale High School’s well-known robotics team.
“One proposal that stood out for me was the Parkdale High School proposal for the Robotics Team,” Wojahn said. “The Parkdale Robotics Team has demonstrated great success in the time they’ve been around. They received an award for best rookie team in a competition with teams from around the world at the 2014 contest and continued to do well last year.”
In their application for the grant, Parkdale detailed how the program works as an extension of the education its students receive in class.
“Parkdale has a technology program that only focuses on very basic skills, with small hands-on projects in STEM,” the school’s grant application said. “To have the first robotics program allows any Parkdale student interested in engineering, programming and even graphic arts to join and learn about relevant and often cutting-edge problems and technologies.”
Parkdale Principal Tanya Washington talked about her school’s relationship with the city.
“With the support of the grant monies from the city of College Park, we have increased our graduation rate by over five percentage points and won the Rookie All Star Award in 2014 at the Chesapeake Regional FIRST Robotics Competition,” Washington said.