CARTERET — Mayor Daniel Reiman was joined by Carteret Board of Education President Dennis Cherepski, High School Principal Lamont Repollet, Alexandra Cross, CEO of the Jewish Renaissance Foundation and Tashilee Vasquez of the Boys and Girls Club of Perth Amboy this week to announce that Carteret has been awarded a $2.67 million pass through grant established by the U.S. Department of Education.
The “21st Century Community Learning Center” grant will assist with the establishment of a range of after-school programs and resources for Carteret High School students and parents, according to Repollet.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
The funding is awarded through the federal program via the Jewish Renaissance Foundation of Middlesex County, a federally certified CAP. Carteret will receive $534 thousand a year for five years through the establishment of a girls and boys club program here. Repollet has stated that funding will be used to establish after school programs for high school students and the resources will consist of four components:
- College Preparation
- “Family Plus”
- Civic Engagement
- Academic Enrichment
Prior to writing the grant award, Carteret High School along with The Boys and Girls Club of Perth Amboy and The Jewish Renaissance Foundation, partnered with Rutgers University to participate in their “Upward Bound” program, which enables Carteret students to utilize Rutgers’ educational resources twice a month, on campus.
According to the high school administration, the College Preparation component of the after school program will expand the availability of resources and assistance available to juniors and seniors for college, while the Academic Enrichment component will allow for organized after-school tutoring, and will be mandatory for underperforming students, according to Repollet.
While Carteret’s implementation of the program is early in its planning stages, the Boys and Girls Club is tentatively scheduled to open in Carteret High School on Oct. 15. The Family Plus component will also lead to the establishment of Carteret High School’s first “full scale resource center” for parents, while the Civic Engagement component will foster community appreciation, service, and integration among students.
Participation will be open to all Carteret High School students, according to Reiman.
“This program and the establishment of a Boys and Girls Club in Carteret will greatly benefit our high school students and their families. The immense resources that will be made available in terms of counseling, family support, academics, and tutoring will dramatically improve our children’s potential,” Reiman said.
“We’re committed to bringing Carteret schools within and beyond national standards,” said Cherepski, “which means expanding our resources – making programs available beyond school hours, to both students and parents, for both education and personal development. At a time when Governor Christie has cut education aid by $1 billion statewide this grant will have a lasting impact.”
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