The start of school brought with it the first installment of the districts first Alliance Grant, an $882,000 payment that is the first of five that will be distributed over the next five years.
The district recently got word that it qualified as an Alliance District and the extra funds it brings.
What will that money buy?
- A math specialist in every K-8 school;
- A data facilitator in every school;
- Reading tutors;
- After-school help at Hamden High School;
- After-school programs at Ridge Hill School, Helen Street School, Church Street School and Hamden High School run by certified teachers.
- Summer programs.
One of the greatest skills that need to be addressed is the lack of language skills children coming into kindergarten lack, Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz said. Pre-school programs will be put in place to address those deficiencies that will include museum trips and trips to the grocery store that will help build vocabulary.
Some of the money will be funneled to the Youth Services Bureau for their programs that address the issues targeted by the program, Rabinowitz said. "We will be working closely together with them," she said. The Youth Services program is located in the same building as the Board of Education offices.
"I'm very excited about it," Rabinowitz said. "I don't like to just spend money if the program is not high quality, so if we cannot find what we want, we can bank the money -- if we dont' spend it this year, we can bring it into the next year. I really want to support literacy in all of this."
At the high school, a "Homework Cafe" will be available to students throughout the day where they can get help anytime with work they're struggling with.