Hilliard teacher Tami Remington wrote on a strip of paper: “I like to play with my friends.”
As Remington cut apart the words, Horizon Elementary first-graders Megan Taylor and Kamree Boulware read them aloud. Their teacher then jumbled the scraps on the desk. The two girls worked together to reassemble the sentence, giggling as they went.
This all happened Tuesday, Jan. 5, before the sun rose, before the school-zone lights began flashing out on Renner Road, before their classmates showed up for the day.
Hilliard’s Horizon Elementary School calls it the Power Hour: before-school individualized reading and math instruction Monday through Thursday for students who can use the extra help. Many are in small groups, while a few get one-on-one attention. Of the students invited to participate, about 95 percent accepted, said Holly Meister, coordinator of the Power Hour.
School buses pick up about 50 students and bring them to Horizon at 7:30 a.m., more than an hour before school starts. The children learn for an hour from their classroom teachers, and then the school feeds them breakfast. The program, including transportation, is funded through a U.S. Department of Education 21st Century Learning grant. This is the second year of the $200,000, three-year grant. It helps schools to expand academics beyond regular school hours for students and their families, and to give the youngsters enrichment opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
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