SMCPS Receives $980,400 State Grant for After School Program - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMCPS Receives $980,400 State Grant for After School Program

Project will provide 5-day-per-week after school program for 240 students

LEONARDTOWN, Md. - The Maryland State Department of Education awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in the amount of $980,400 to St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS). This three-year grant will fund a daily after school program with academics and enrichment for a total of 240 students at George Washington Carver Elementary School, Lexington Park Elementary School, Spring Ridge Middle School, and at Recreation and Park's Carver Recreation Center. The program will operate during the school year, for three hours per day, and includes transportation home. The official name of the project is the Dream Team 21st Century After School Program.

Participating students will have a nutritious daily snack, help with their homework, then academic instruction, followed by enrichment in areas such as chess, photography, science and engineering projects, fitness and nutrition, and swimming lessons. Over the three year period, one project goal is to teach all enrolled students without swimming ability how to swim and be safe in the water.

Assisting SMCPS in this project are committed partners including the St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks Department, which operates the Carver Recreation Center site and St. Mary's College of Maryland, providing dozens of college students as volunteers, plus hosting activities for students on their campus. The University of Maryland 4-H/Extension Service sends a staff member to work in the program and also has nutrition and fitness curriculums with training that will greatly enhance the services the Dream Team delivers. Local contractor Booz Allen, Inc. sends six employees weekly to train girls and boys in a running club, where they also learn lessons about health and fitness and learn about being successful in the work world. The Kiwanis Club of St. Mary's County provides K-Kids, and Builders Clubs that train students in Parliamentary procedure, which students then use to run their club. The students identify and address problems in the community through student designed and led Service Learning projects. The Maryland Educational Chess Association will teach chess skills to students and then engage them in multi-site chess tournaments. The St. Mary's County Tennis Association delivers tennis lessons that allow students to enjoy and gain the physical, mental and emotional benefits of tennis.

Students are invited to the program based on their academic needs, with the goal of helping all students become proficient in math and reading. The program will also serve a significant number of homeless students by sharing resources with SMCPS's Title I project.

For more information about the Dream Team 21st Century After School Program, contact Mark Smith, coordinator of special programs, at 301-475-0242 ext 110 or email

Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS)

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