CROP funding restored for local school districts

The New York State Education Department (SED) has announced grant awards for their 21st-Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Programs funded through the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
The Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services (ONC BOCES) Creating Rural Opportunities Partnership (CROP Program) was one of 281 grants reviewed and one of only 107 grants to be selected for funding. The granted funds will be utilized for CROP after school programs serving 910 students over the next five years (through June 30, 2013) at Andes, Charlotte Valley, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Laurens, Margaretville, Milford, Morris, Roxbury, Schenevus, South Kortright, and Worcester central schools.
CROP is a comprehensive after school program for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The program is based on need, including children whose families qualify for free and reduced lunch, children who may be academically at risk, children with disabilities, and children who may go home to an empty house after school. Fifty percent of each child’s time is spent doing academic enhancement activities such as homework, tutoring, and academic clubs. The other half of the day includes enrichment activities in the arts, health and wellness, sports and recreation, service learning and life skills development. CROP also welcomes parent involvement and encourages parent participation at all times, as well as providing resources for adult education to parents of CROP children. In order for schools to qualify for this grant, each school must have at least 40% of the student population receiving free and reduced lunch.
CROP has been operating since July 2000 in Cooperstown, Edmeston, Laurens, Milford, Morris and Worcester, since July 2003 in Andes, Charlotte Valley, Margaretville, Roxbury, Schenevus and South Kortright, and since July 2005 in Cherry Valley, Jefferson, Riverside Elementary School in Oneonta and Stamford. With the three combined grant awards CROP serves 1,260 children in 16 school districts within the ONC BOCES region.
Funding for Andes, Charlotte Valley, Margar-etville, Roxbury, Schenevus and South Kortright expired in June 2007 and 21st CCLC funds were not available to continue programming into the 2007-2008 school year. With the help of the New York State Assembly and in-kind contributions from the six school districts, the programs were able to continue while ONC BOCES awaited the announcement of additional funding.
In addition to each site’s paid staff, CROP has nine community based partners including: LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County, Schoharie County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Roxbury Arts Group, Upper Catskills Community Council of the Arts, Girls on the Run, the Cherry Valley Community Facilities Corporation, Hawk Circle Wilderness Education, and the Learning for Life program.
If there are any questions, the ONC BOCES CROP Program Director, Kris Kaschak, can be reached at 607 436-3247.