Exciting opportunities lie ahead for students at Lochburn Middle School. Because of funds raised at the Champions for Youth Breakfast, a $5,000 grant from the Vogt Foundation, a $7,500 grant from United Way, plus extended learning funds from Clover Park School District, Communities in Schools of Lakewood (CISL) is ready to employ math and english teachers and hire a “School Success Specialist” who will work with parents, coordinate mentors and tutors, and help run special events at the school. Helen Wilson, Principal at Lochburn, states “over two-thirds of Lochburn students did not meet standard on the Math WASL, so there is definitely a need for more program interventions. CISL is prepared to help address the academic challenges of students by working in unison with Lochburn to provide after-school programs that address the academic needs of students and transport them safely home. The CISL-Lochburn Program will have rigorous standards and will impact 40-50 students who are referred by school counselors and teachers. Parents will also receive additional support to help their kids.”
The bus ride home is critical. Mrs. Wilson explains that “a majority of our parents for various reasons are unable to pick their student up from after-school programs”. Two activity busses taking kids home three days a week runs over $6,000 per year. Dave O’Keeffe, Director of Communities In Schools, wants to expand the program to include more electives and a unique soccer intramural program for 40 students that emphasizes character-building. “To do this we will need four volunteer soccer coaches plus funds for one more activity bus. If you know caring adults who can coach soccer, refer them to CISL. By November I would like to see 80 students engaged in educational and enjoyable activities every day after school.”
With increased funding for busses and support from Lakewood First Lions Club the popular “Leo’s Club” can also be restarted next year. Two years ago, 60 Lochburn students participated in six major service-projects throughout the school year. Students, teachers, the Lion’s Club, and those that benefited from the service-projects all want the Leo’s Club back next year.
CISL believes all students can succeed in school. One of the reasons students fail or drop-out when they reach high school is the frustration they experience with 9th grade math and language arts classes. Even though middle schools are offering more rigorous classes, there is just not enough time in the school day to meet the needs of students who are struggling emotionally and academically. Many students just need an extra hour after school to master math and English concepts. When students are surrounded by caring and competent adults in elementary and middle school, they get motivated to succeed, and have a better chance of graduating from high school, college and career ready.
Visit the CISL website at www.lakewood.ciswa.org or call Dave O’Keeffe or Christina Klas at 589-7489 if you want to get involved. Your support as a donor or volunteer will help more students find success in school and in life.