Educating our children – ‘It takes a village’
ESP partners with businesses to
The Grafton Century Elementary Extended School Program (ESP) has recently partnered with several local businesses and service agencies. The partnerships are intended to enhance learning opportunities for the children beyond what they will learn in the classroom.
According to Sandra Mahar, Century ESP director, ESP is a 21st Century Community Learning Center program with guidelines set to create partnerships within the community and offer learning enhancements that bring real world applications to the children the program serves.
For the past several years, the ESP program at Century focused solely on academics and aligning the extended school day program with what is taught in the classrooms during the day. Teachers were brought on board because they know the strengths and weaknesses of the students. Now the program’s focus has been revised.
“In the last two years we have changed what goes on at ESP,” Mahar said. “The first 45-minute session is spent on homework. The second session we try to do something, such as a community learning project, with one of our partners.”
Thus far the partners include Bremer Bank, Carnegie Regional Library, the City of Grafton, Grafton Police Department, Grafton Post Office, Lutheran Sunset Home, NDSU Extension Service-Walsh County, Pembina County Story Hour and the Walsh County Food Pantry. Several of the partners have provided educational presentations for the children or have provided outlets for the children to share their talents.
Just recently Liane Deutz from Bremer Bank spoke to the children about the importance of developing wise spending and saving habits. Grafton Police officer Brad Arin and Rob Parsons, who is a probation office for Walsh County, talked about making good choices now and later in life, as well as the consequences they face if they make the wrong choices when it comes to the law. Representatives of the Grafton Post Office educated the children on what happens to a letter after it is mailed. They had the children write a letter to themselves, address it and stamp it. The letters were then mailed to the students.