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TYLER, August 15, 2013-- The University of Texas at Tyler Ingenuity Center has been awarded an $11 million grant to expand afterschool programs administered to improve student performance in middle schools, Dr. Michael Odell, associate vice president for sponsored research and director of federal relations, announced.
This five-year grant, awarded by the Texas Education Agency, surpasses the 2011 TEA grant as the largest in university history.
UT Tyler has administered programs funded by the first grant at Fruitvale Independent School District and Tyler ISD’s Boulter Engineering Prep Middle School, Dogan Middle School and Stewart Middle School. With this subsequent grant, the programs will expand to include TISD’s Hogg Middle School, Hubbard Middle School and Moore Middle School, as well as Chapel Hill Middle School, Winona ISD, Azleway Charter School and Azleway Charter School-Willow Bend.
“We have had so much success with our existing afterschool programs, and we are extremely excited to expand our offerings to a few thousand more students,” said Eli Crow, grant author. “Our afterschool programs have led to positive impacts on school culture and climate, student success and parental involvement.”
The unique afterschool projects, called University Academies, are designed to offer direct afterschool academic assistance, as well as significant enrichment opportunities to disadvantaged middle school students – ultimately developing their levels of both college and career readiness.
“With this grant we are able to provide students with the opportunity to be involved in activities that many kids would never be able to be a part of otherwise. Most importantly, we are able to set up programming that ensures students have a positive, hands-on experience with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities, and this has been shown to increase student achievement in the math and science classroom,” Crow said.
UT Tyler has worked with the participating schools to be ready to open with their corresponding school year start.
The afterschool program begins each day following the end of the regular school day and proceeds until 6:15 p.m. Nutritional snacks are provided to students. The University Academies also offer adult education classes for family members of afterschool students. All services are provided at no charge to the students or family members.
The grants have been awarded as a result of Odell’s continuously successful record of work in this field and distinguished grant application. Odell also serves as the UT Tyler Celia and Sam Roosth professor of education. In addition to being the grant author, Crow also serves as superintendent of the UT Tyler charter schools in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.
The University Academy Project is part of an ongoing partnership between school districts and the UT Tyler Ingenuity Center, which has been assisting partner districts with professional development for teachers, personnel support and technical assistance with instructional programming and grant writing.
This has been UT Tyler’s largest single service project.
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