As school funding gets tighter, many districts depend on grants to get extra money to get students the extra help they need. It's happening in Rock Island right now, where at least one school is leaving its lights on for learning.
Staying after school isn't something you'd expect kids to want to do, but at Earl Hanson, many students are all for it. LaMonica McGhee says, "I like to learn about math, I like to learn about writing." This 2nd grader is learning about more than just the a-b-c's, thanks to a federal grant called Lights On for Learning. It helps fill in the gap between the end of the school day and the work day for 81 students here.
Teacher Renee Williams says, "They have 30 minutes of math, 30 minutes language arts support, then they get to go back in the cafeteria and get homework help. Along with a snack and fun activity, like a guest speaker or even a field trip. But this block of time from 3 to 5:15 is really about giving students extra support Four to six students, getting one teacher's undivided attention. Principal Deb Taber says, "That's really small, intense group, that they can really get a lot accomplished in a small amount of time."
This day, this group is working on composing and de-composing 2 and 3-digit numbers, which can sound difficult to a college graduate. Williams says, "We worked on it this whole week and we also worked on it last week, and some of the students were struggling with it." But McGhee says she's getting it, thanks to this."By helping us do some more of it, learning more by practicing it."
Something the principal says students will be able to do because of this grant. $138,000 over the next five years, adding up to academic success.