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(The Center Square) – A trio of Delaware schools will benefit from a $4.5 million investment under a grant program, state officials said, that will address student needs.

The Delaware Wraparound Services Initiative grant, which falls under the guidance of the Delaware Department of Education, helps schools start or expand learning centers designed to aid students with academic and non-scholastic activities in addition to high-quality preventative health and mental health care when schools are not in session.

Kuumba Academy Charter School will receive $1,416,855 under the program, and The Bayard School in Christiana School District will receive $1,238,000 in funding. The Bancroft School, also in the Christiana School District, will receive $958,000.

“It is essential that we address the needs of the whole child as we work toward better student outcomes,” Christiana Superintendent Dan Shelton said in the release. “It is also important that we build positive learning experiences that help our students connect their learning to the world around them. We are so excited to provide both enrichment and extra learning time for our students.”

According to the release, the schools will be able to use the funds to contract with third parties to operate the programs.

The funding is a one-time grant, according to the release, and comes on the recommendation of the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity. Schools serving higher populations of children living in poverty are the beneficiaries of the program. The monies will support programs before and after school and during the summer months to provide emotional wellbeing and behavioral health care.

At Kuumba Academy Charter School, funding will support the expansion of afterschool and summer enrichment programs through Wilmington’s Community Education Building, according to the release. An additional 160 students will be able to utilize academic tutoring, career readiness, counseling, arts education, and social emotional programming for low-performing students and help them reach reading and math targets.

The school will partner with ChristianaCare, according to the release, in an effort to create a student-based health center to offer preventative care, mental health, and acute care to the school’s 637 students.

“We have been working toward adding a school-based health center for several years,” Kuumba Academy Head of School Sally Maldonado said in the release. “We are so grateful for this grant opportunity to bring this dream to fruition for our students and families.”

In Christiana School District, funds from the grant will be used to partner with the United Way of Delaware and the Life Health Center. The partnership, according to the release, will allow students to participate in tutoring, extracurricular activities, preventative health care, and assistance with mental health.

Life Health Center will offer telehealth services in addition to being on site at the Stubbs Early Education Center. At Bayard, Life Health Center will aid the school’s wellness center.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.