New Fund Benefits Preston County After School Programming

– July 23, 2015 – A fund to benefit Preston County students and parents was approved at the May meeting of the Tucker Community Foundation.  The After School Explorers Fund was initiated last fall with proceeds from the Foundation’s Run For It, a fundraising program that culminates with an annual race. Team Captain, Susie Huggins, and After School Explorer Run For It team members raised more than $2,500 from last year’s event and plan to return for the 2015 race to continue building the endowment.

After School Explorers is a dynamic educational program currently funded in part by two 5-year 21st Century Community Learning Center grants and in-kind support from Preston County Schools.  The program focuses on student and parent achievement.

According to Robert Burns, Executive Director for Tucker Community Foundation, “Proceeds from this endowed fund will enhance existing programs and provide sustainable solutions for future needs in Preston County.  Foundation members acknowledge and appreciate the vision of Ms. Huggins and others who are action- oriented in addressing after school programming needs.”

After school programming strives to have students on grade level by 3rd grade and helps to develop critical thinking skills.  Project based learning and STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math) activities are also core elements of the program.

The After School Explorers meet at the end of the regular school day.  The program consists of homework help; a healthy snack; and an enrichment activity.  Summer programming includes STEAM explorers for grades K-4; a focus on robotics for 5-9 grade students and a Zero Robotics competition that involves writing computer code for the International Space Station.

Parent achievement includes the Little Learners program where they learn to work with their child on social skills needed for school and educational components such as the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes. Parents have access to the school library to help check out books for their child, prepare for a READ ALOUD activity or to improve their own personal reading skills. They also have access to the school computer labs two hours a week to help with online classes and to seek employment opportunities.

Eight sites in Preston County are currently benefiting from the After School Explorers program:  Aurora School, Bruceton School, Fellowsville Elementary, Kingwood Elementary, Rowlesburg School, South Preston School, Terra Alta East Preston School and Valley Elementary.

Once the After School Explorers Fund has reached the minimum fund requirement of $10,000, it will generate an annual grant primarily for Preston County after school programming for parents and students and secondarily for Preston County school programs also benefiting parents and students.

Susie Huggins, ASE Program Director, is leading the charge for the 2015 Run For It. Race proceeds will benefit the new endowment. Join the After School Explorer team or make a team sponsor donation at before Sept. 15.

Donations from the general public can be made directly to the Fund.  Mail checks made payable to TCF, PO Box 491, Parsons, WV  26287 memo: ASE FUND.  For more information, contact the Tucker Community Foundation office at 304-478-2930 or 304-259-5008.


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