LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) — More than $1 million will be spent over the next three years at Lockhart ISD to help increase attendance and improve grades, thanks to a grant awarded by the Texas Education Agency.
In total, 200 elementary aged students will be picked for the after-school program. The district says the students will be picked based on their attendance and their academic need. The students picked will be paired up with teachers who will tutor and mentor them from the time they get out of school until 6 p.m. — at no charge to the parents.
“It’s something that’s a commitment. It’s something that we understand that we have to be responsible with the money we were awarded, so students and parents will commit to participating and we will ensure that the kids who are coming are coming on a frequent basis,” said Lockhart ISD superintendent Mark Estrada.
According to Estrada, the program will help increase attendance, decrease behavioral issues and aid in the successful completion of homework.
“For an elementary student going into middle school, it may open up a door to take an accelerated math class, it may open up a door to take a STEM class. That encourages students to go after their goals and to set, and have high expectations for themselves to reach their potential,” said Estrada.
In addition to academic intervention and support from teachers, students will receive dinner, help with homework, enrichment opportunities and transportation. The tutors are certified teachers who will be paid for their time with money from the grant.
Services will begin Sept. 4 for identified students from each of the elementary schools.
They will be transported to one of three sites hosting the grant program, including Bluebonnet Elementary School, Strawn Elementary School and Navarro Elementary School.
The Texas Afterschool Centers on Education program is run through the Texas Education Agency to provide programs in low-income areas. The TEA says it’s evaluations show students who participate in ACE programs have fewer disciplinary incidents and school day absences, higher test scores in reading and math and overall increased likelihood of grade promotion.