Thursday, July 17, 2014

State Spotlights City's Project Impact Program

The City of Apalachicola Project Impact Afterschool and Summer Enrichment Program have once again been spotlighted in a recent report from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Initiative. The city program was highlighted for being exemplary in its overall implementation of an effective and impactful 21st CCLC program.  The daily operation of Project Impact and its programming fall under the direction of Faye Johnson.  

The city was also commended by the state for the flawless operation of two centers.  One is school-based at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School and the other is community-base at the Mayor Van W. Johnson, Sr., Recreation & Community Service Complex. The program serves on an average, more than 90 students per day at each location.

The program is one of many non-traditional local governmental functions provided to the community by the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners. It’s designed to provide an opportunity for students to enhance and reinforce academic lessons of the regular school day, while also learning new skills and discovering new opportunities after the regular school day has ended. 

The program also provides enrichment opportunities for the students during their summer vacation via a Summer Camp at both centers.  The Summer Camp doors are open to students from Pre-Kindergarten thru 12th grade and serves both breakfast and lunch.  The camp operates four days a week from 8:00am to 4:00pm and provides academic enrichment activities the first three days of the week and educational field trips on Thursdays to places such as museums and aquariums.  In addition, there’s a credit recovery class held daily for middle and high school students wishing to make-up any necessary school credits.

The overall program features an ongoing collaboration between Project Impact, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum (AMM) and the Apalachicola Municipal Library.  The AMM provides leadership, team building skills and increased critical thinking through the craft of boat building.  Currently several wooden vessels have been built by the students all seaworthy.  The partnership with the City Library has resulted in an annual summer reading program that’s become mutually beneficial for both Project Impact and the Library.

The program is in its final year of a five year grant cycle, which totaled roughly $500K in grant funding from the FLDOE to operate the program in each of those years. During that period Project Impact created well over 50 full and partime local jobs.  Currently an effort is underway by Program Director Johnson to write and submit an application for funding for the next five-years.