By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal
The Louisville Municipal School District in its partnership with Mississippi State University is stepping into its fourth year of the CAPPS (Changing Academic Performance & Promoting Success) program.
The program has been funded with a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant for five years but each year the school district and those who wish to partner with CAPPS must increasingly take up more of the funding split.
Educators in the Louisville Municipal School District noted that students participating in the CAPPS program are having more classroom and academic success.
“We are having an impact and making a difference,” said Dr. Terry Jayroe, Director, Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach at Mississippi State University who helped gain the grant for the district.
“We have lots of students showing improvement in motivation, classroom behavior and attentiveness,” added Gina Smith, who recently became lead project director for the program.
The program was introduced four years ago with the goals to improve student achievement and help more students finish high school and go onto college.
“The after school program and summer programs have been very successful,” said Smith.
Jayroe noted that attendance in the program was good with over 230 a day attending the program and about 400 enrolled in the program.
While the program building upon its successes each year, the grant funds decrease each year which requires stronger partnerships to help grow and improve the program.
The program is seeking volunteers as well as organizations to help sponsor field trips and events for the students to gain more life experiences.
“We are about building social skills, life skills and life experiences to enhance academic success,” said Shane Davis with the program.
The CAPPS program has also partnered with several programs at MSU to help bring in teacher interns, teacher candidates and mentors to help the students achieve academic success.
This year CAPPS program begins August 20 with signup at Eiland Middle School, Nanih Waiya Attendance Center and Noxapater Attendance Center from 3 to 5:15 pm.
The Eiland Middle School location aims to offer a new computer room. The computers were donated by MSU with an eye on helping students succeed.
Dr. Jayroe noted that the university supports the program since a better educated populace makes for a better community and state.
The MSU partnership through CAPPS also helped “bloom” other partnerships within the district. MSU has partnered with the school district in several areas following the initial CAPPS partnership.
CAPPS is a free after-school tutoring program offered to all Louisville Municipal School District students’ grades 5-12. Dr. Jayroe noted that she hopes to engage more high school students in the program.
CAPPS is currently offered to at four school sites: Eiland, Noxapater, Nanih Waiya, and the Boys and Girls Club of Winston County.
The program focuses on enhancing character education and student skills in key learning areas such as math and language skills. The program also offers enrichment activities, tutoring, homework assistance, computer projects, group activities, and educational field trips for students. The program employs certified teachers and support staff to deliver information similar to the classroom.
The CAPPS program runs for 15 weeks in the fall, 15 weeks in the spring, and 4 weeks in the summer. This allows access to the program during any time of the year, a big plus for students who want to use it.
CAPPS is funded through a $1.8 million grant of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants through the Mississippi Department of Education. The program is an academic /tutorial environment with some physical education and arts infusion. The program decreases funding each year until the 5th year when it is set to be self- sustaining.
The CAPPS grant is a collective endeavor of the Louisville School District, the Boys and Girls Club of Winston County, and Mississippi State University. Parents should contact their area school to find out about enrollment opportunities.
For more information contact the CAPPS office at 662-773-2035.