Turner Elementary School students enjoy a trip to the Georgia Aquarium as part of the 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church's Community Outreach Center's FLAGG Program.
ALBANY, Ga. — Over the past 20-plus years, Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church’s Community Outreach Center has provided many opportunities for after-school and summer enrichment services for children in Dougherty County.
One of its most recent accomplishments was obtaining a second 21st Century Grant for an after-school program at Turner Elementary School. Greater 2nd Mt. Olive’s first grant was in excess of $975,000 over a period of three years. Those funds were utilized solely for third- through fifth-grade students at Turner Elementary School.
The final year for the initial grant ended this summer; however, it was renewed for $2.2 million over the next five years beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.
The second 21st Century Grant Mt. Olive received is for $1.5 million for first- and second-grade students at Turner. The center is currently in the second year of this grant.
“East Albany has a tremendous need for after-school academic, educational, social and enrichment activities,” Outreach Administrator Leslie Heard said. “So we identified these problems and partnered with Turner to implement a Family Learning Academic Achievement & Growth program. Since poverty has the tendency to foster low educational attainments, the purpose of this initiative is to expand the capacity of the after-school programs to include projects that will offer new experiences to expand the learning opportunities for low-achieving, disadvantaged students, and promote family involvement through offering literacy education.”
Since the inception of the FLAAG Program, Heard said Mt. Olive has always maintained high attendance numbers.
For the 2012-2013 school term, in which the program will begin on Sept. 4, more than 325 students between grades K-5 have already registered. The program will be held every Monday-Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on specified Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
FLAAG not only offers academic enrichment in the areas of reading, language arts and math, it also offers other enrichment activities such as Spanish, sign language, arts and crafts, computer technology, character education and organized sports, among many others.
“We also operate a seven-week Summer Camp Enrichment Program. The camp has proven to be a great success as it helps to prevent gaps in services from the end of school until the beginning of school,” Heard said.
She added that all of the programs have been a great asset to the children of Dougherty County.
“Overall, the FLAAG programs have been a tremendous asset to the Dougherty County School System, Turner Elementary School and the East Albany community as a whole,” said Heard. “We are expecting an incredibly successful year.”