Brownstown Central Community School Corp. Superintendent Tim Taylor has been asked several times about what he has been up to this summer.
His answer every time?
“A lot,” he said.
While the summer is a break between school years for students and staff, Taylor and the staff in the administrative office remain busy preparing for everyone’s return.
Brownstown has gone through the unprecedented 2020-21 school year with the COVID-19 pandemic, and now Taylor and his company are ready for some normalcy as the first student day arrives on August 6.
Prior to that, the company will be sharing everything that is happening with the community and beyond at its booth at the Jackson County Fair.
School staff will be holding a booth at the county’s biggest event next week, handing out calendar magnets and balloons and mingling with visitors. It will be located in Building 1 next to the Fair Office at Brownstown Exhibition Center.
“It’s just a chance to go out and tap the flesh and meet people and talk about the good things that we’re doing,” Taylor said. “We have a lot to do. I really appreciate everyone’s efforts right now with so much going on. … There were a lot of people here.
Parents who stop by the trade fair booth will also have the opportunity to enroll their child in a new after-school program for elementary and secondary school students.
In late May, Brownstown learned he was among 110 recipients of new funding from the Indiana Department of Education’s Student Learning Recovery Grant program, which will help students recover from the loss of learning due to the pandemic.
Created by House Enrolled Act 1008, the program allocates $ 150 million to accelerate learning partnerships to support students of all levels with an emphasis on partnerships between community organizations and schools.
Brownstown partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour to apply for a grant and received $ 911,447.39.
Club general manager Ryon Wheeler said he had spoken to Brownstown administrators in recent years about what might be needed for after-school programming, but now is not the right time.
“With the release of Bill 1008, Tim reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, can we make this happen? And we said,’ let’s see what we can do, ‘” Wheeler said. .
During the pandemic, the Seymour Club remained open to help children with online learning and started a club in Jennings County.
“The Boys and Girls Club has a rich history of working in schools across the state with its Indiana Kids program,” Wheeler said. “We know that child care is an issue in this community. We know that the quality of after-school programs must be affordable. The Boys and Girls Club has been doing this for 75 years. Why not work together? “
Brownstown’s funding covers two school years of after-school and summer programs in 2022 and 2023. The goal is to serve 200 children – 100 in each school.
“Our focus will be on reading and math, but we’re going to do it in a fun way,” Wheeler said. “It’s not going to be about sitting and watching a whiteboard teach and seeing what happens. It’s gonna play kickball, and if you go out here’s a flash card, here’s a sight word, here’s something you need to do to keep the kids going.
Wheeler said the program will begin on the first day of school and intensive programming will intensify after Labor Day. He will go until 6 p.m. each school day.
“The best part is we’re going to be operating outside of schools so the kids don’t have to find transportation to us,” he said. “We put $ 30,000 in transportation costs per year into the grant, so if the kids need help getting home, we can try to figure that out as well. I think it’s going to be a real game-changer for the kids.
Approximately $ 782,000 of the funding will be used to hire 15 full-time and part-time staff to assist students. Wheeler said the hiring process will speed up soon.
“These will be good paying, quality jobs,” he said. “The minimum rate is $ 15 an hour. We will work to get quality people. We hope to have teachers and we hope that some of your teaching assistants will just bridge the gap. “
Supplies and equipment will represent $ 25,000 in funding, and $ 50,000 will be spent on teacher professional development through BloomBoard.
“Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in online professional development and micro-accreditation through BloomBoard focused on learning recovery and socio-emotional learning,” Taylor said. “These skills will allow them to better meet the needs of our students.
If the program goes as planned, Wheeler said they could apply for a four-year grant to keep the offer going after school.
“It’s the cart before the horse, but we’re not just looking at those two years, going in and out,” he said. “We want to see if we can maintain this partnership. “
Also during this year’s County Fair, Brownstown Central Fellowship of Christian Athletes will have a booth in Exhibition Building 3.
The group stores and maintains the Shed for You community building in the city parking lot along West Walnut Street, which contains food and other essentials that people can take away at any time. Donations can also be deposited at any time.
The fair booth will contain information regarding food donations and photos of FCA activities.
School board president Scott Shade, whose wife Jennifer is the BCHS FCA advisor, said students continued to work all summer unloading trucks and stocking the shed with food.
“All the sports teams, they all jump in cars and come and help, and that’s really a good thing to see,” he said. “It was great.”
If you are going to
The Jackson County Fair begins Sunday and ends July 31 at the Fairgrounds, 476 E. County Road 100S, Brownstown.
Brownstown Central Community School Corp. will have a booth in Building 1 next to the office, and Brownstown Central Fellowship of Christian Athletes will have a booth in Exhibition Building 3 near the grandstand.