Lottery Grant Provides Funds for After School Care

As news of multi-million dollar lottery wins circulate this week, many do not realize that 100 percent of unclaimed prize money in Tennessee goes to support afterschool educational programs through grants. Since the Tennessee lottery’s inception in 2002, the General Assembly has required lottery money to benefit education through college scholarships, early childhood and afterschool programs. One such grant was recently awarded to the Franklin Special School District’s Morning and Afternoon Care (MAC) program through the Tennessee Department of Education. Over 100 Franklin families will now be able to access the MAC program on a sliding scale and with scholarships, thanks to a 3-year, $397,197 Lottery for Education: Afterschool Programs (LEAPs) grant. MAC Supervisor Amanda Parks wrote the LEAPS grant, and is thrilled to be able to serve FSSD students who typically cannot afford to pay for after school care.

Summer MAC students play twister

Summer MAC students play twister at the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department’s 2017 Sports Day.

“We look forward to the wonderful opportunities that the LEAPS grant will provide our students over the next three years,” Parks said. “We know there is a need for tuition assistance and are excited to be able to provide high quality care and programming to families who need to know their children are being well-cared for anytime school is not in session.”

MAC was awarded $132,399 a year for three years to provide scholarships to children both during the school year as well as during holidays, snow days or summer breaks. Due to the limitations of the grant, only Title I schools (Franklin Elementary, Freedom Middle, Liberty Elementary, Moore Elementary, Poplar Grove Elementary and Poplar Grove Middle School) are eligible for the grant monies; however, the grant funding frees up typical MAC revenues that can be used in similar ways at non-Title I schools.

In addition to scholarships, the grant will also be used to support academic tutoring and homework assistance, as well as to provide funding for several new enrichment classes:

  • The SPARK afterschool curriculum engages students in physical activities that align with the Tennessee Academic Standards.
  • The My1st Code computer coding program will help older students to better understand math concepts and improve problem-solving capabilities.
  • The WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS program will be used in grades K-8 as a tool for increasing literacy and engaging all students in a reading/writing comprehension program that concludes with students receiving a hard cover copy of a self-authored book.