GEARY COUNTY, Kan. – Curriculum in Geary County schools is getting a major boost thanks to a $2 million federal grant.
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Educational Partnership awarded a $2 million grant to the Geary County School District through the FY 12 Grant Program.
The funds are geared towards improving achievement in the areas of science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) at public schools with military connections.
The funds will be used for grades 6-12 at Junction City High School, Junction City Middle School and Fort Riley Middle School.
"Many of our young people have moms and dads who are deployed. Keeping a young person focused on what they might like to do the rest of their life is really important and the more we can involve students in actually carrying out hands on learning, the more likely they are to stick with it even when they’re worried about mom or dad being somewhere else," said Patricia Anderson, Associate Superintendent of USD 475 and the Director of Curriculum for the school district.
“USD 475 is proud to team with the Department of Defense Education Activity in the form of the STEM grant with the goal of transforming science education,” said Ronald P. Walker, Superintendent, Geary County 475 in a press release. “We will use the latest technology and research as we work with Kansas State University, the National Science Foundation and other research-based institutions to provide our students with the greatest science experience in America!”
New technology will be infused into the curriculum. For example, biology classes are being designed on electronic tablets.
"These young people will be able to access information, they’ll be able to record data as they conduct actual research, they’ll be able to communicate with experts across the country and throughout the world. They’ll be participants and practicing in science instead of just reading from a book... The kinds of things that they’ll be able to do and called upon to do are really the kinds of things will increase the likelihood that some part of this foursome of science, technology, engineering and mathematics might become part of their lifetime," Anderson added.
On top of the $2 million grant, the school district also received a $250,000 grant from The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) for a new foreign language program at Spring Valley Elementary School.
DoDEA awarded more than $35 million in grants this year. The grants were awarded to 26 military-connected public school districts to strengthen family-school-community relationships and enhance student achievement for military connected students.
To be eligible for participation in the grant, the district must have an active military-connected student population of 5% or more, with a population of 15% or more military-connected students at the school level. Although funding levels are related to military student enrollment, the proposed programs will serve all students at the target schools.
DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.