Special Programs, from the St. Mary's County Public Schools' Department of Student Services, provide opportunities for students to grow and develop beyond what the regular school day offers. Programs focus on closing the achievement gap among student groups including low-income, first-generation college, minority, and students who need extra time or support.
- Finding opportunities, planning, and writing grant proposals for At-Risk Students/Closing the Achievement Gap
- Start up, supervision, program management, and fiscal management of each funded program
- Business and community partnerships for assisting at-risk students and closing the achievement gap
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers After School Program (six sites)
- Approximately 1,000 students currently served after school
- Approximately 50,000 snacks served after school, per year
- 26 buses per day taking students home from after school programs
- Budget from grant funds this year is approximately $1,000,000 plus additional in-kind contributions from the school system and community partners
- Over 120 staff members on payroll, including both SMCPS staff in extra pay for extra duty positions and hourly workers from the ABACUS Corporation
- Many active partnerships--see lists below
List of Programs:
Donnie Williams After School Program
This new grant from December 2015 comes from the Donnie Williams Foundation. It is based on a generous bequest from Donnie Williams, who grew up in St. Mary's County. Mr. Williams left approximately $20,000,000 to be used for after-school programs. In the 2017 school year, programs operate at Banneker Elementary, Mechanicsville Elementary, Leonardtown Middle, Esperanza Middle, Leonardtown Elementary School and Chopticon High School. In the summer of 2016 programs took place at Park Hall Elementary and Esperanza Middle School.
My Crew @ 3:00
My Crew @ 3 is an after-school and summer program at Great Mills High School, serving 60 students with a focus on the arts. Students create and learn complex dance routines, learn to cook and sew, study video games and programming, study film, and produce short films. Our partnership with the Rotary Club of Lexington Park provides weekly speakers for the So Many Journeys Waiting for You students who learn about careers and college. See a detailed description of the program below.
The project includes a six-week summer program at Great Mills High School, with nine days at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Two talent showcases are prepared by the students to attract parents and community members.
4-ACES 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program
This after school program is located at George Washington Carver Elementary School, Lexington Park Elementary School, Spring Ridge Middle School, and the St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks Carver Recreation Center. This program is in its second year and is funded by a three-year, $383,000 per year grant from the Maryland State Department of Education and the Federal 21st Century program. It currently serves 240 students and operates five days per week during the school year. St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks operates the Carver Recreation Center site five days per week.
- Partners are Kiwanis of St. Mary's County, 4-H, University of Maryland Extension of St. Mary's County, St. Mary's College of Maryland, The Local Management Board of St. Mary's County, The Yellow Door Studios, Soccer in the Park, the St. Mary's Tennis Association, and Booz Allen Hamilton, a major partner providing support from its employees and a generous financial contribution.
Becoming Empowered Students Together (B.E.S.T) After School Program at Park Hall Elementary School
- Awarded a three-year grant from the Maryland State Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program in August, 2014
- Helps students become proficient in reading through project-based, real world activities including video production, service learning, readers' theater, and a character development program called SHAKTI Warriors
- Focuses on Fitness
- Week-long summer camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland
- Partners include Wayne Lockley's Young Gentlemen's Program, St. Mary's Tennis Association, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Yellow Door Art Studios, Soccer in the Park, and the University of Maryland Extension
Local Management Board of St. Mary's County
After School Program at Green Holly Elementary School.
The Local Management Board After School Program supports the after-school program at Green Holly Elementary School for the 2016-2017 school year. This program operates three days per week and is similar in design to the 21st Century Program.
St. Mary's County College Access Program (SMC CAP)
Southern Maryland has an undersupply of workers with college degrees. To address this need, and to help all students achieve at high levels, SMC CAP places advisors in the three SMCPS comprehensive high schools and the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center to target and work with students who will be first-generation college students, but also serves any student who requests assistance. The program delivers a weekly curriculum which supports and prepares juniors and seniors for successfully navigating the road to higher education. During their lunch, Juniors and seniors go to the College and Career Centers at their school to meet with the Post Secondary Advisors. The advisors are Robin Willis and Amy Ulrich at Great Mills High School, (Vacancy) at Leonardtown High School, and (Vacancy) at Chopticon High School. The two-year-long, weekly curriculum is prepared by our consultant, Susan Bisson-Lambert.
The program delivers a weekly curriculum which supports and prepares juniors and seniors for successfully navigating the road to higher education. During their lunch, Juniors and seniors go to the College and Career Centers at their school to meet with the Post Secondary Advisors. The advisors are Robin Willis and Amy Ulrich at Great Mills High School, Amy Ulrich at Leonardtown High School, and Jeff Burrell at Chopticon High School. The two-year-long, weekly curriculum is prepared by our consultant, Susan Bisson-Lambert.
Students from the College Ambassadors at St. Mary's College also provide support for CAP as speakers and mentors.
Partnership with BECA (the Business, Education and Community Alliance)
The Business, Education, and Community Alliance, celebrating 27 years of service to the community, has created a one-stop website with information about colleges and scholarships (www.smcbeca.org). It includes a Common Scholarship Application so students can apply for over 35 local scholarships, worth over $200,000, with one single application.
BECA will present the Scholarship Fair on January 24, 2018, at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center. Students and parents meet scholarship providers and learn how the St. Mary's Common Scholarship Application works.
BECA 's Scholarship Awards Ceremony will be held in May 2018, at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center. Students who are chosen for scholarships from BECA or any of the other providers on the SMC Common Scholarship Application, will be invited to attend the ceremony with their families.
So Many Journeys Waiting for U
This program, offered at Great Mills High School, began in November 2014, with funding from an anonymous donor and a major partnership with the Rotary Club of Lexington Park. The program is designed to support early college awareness and readiness in 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th-grade students. The 7th and 8th graders meet on Wednesdays at Spring Ridge Middle School. After school on Thursdays, they take a bus to Great Mills High School to learn about high school, college, and careers. Ninth and 10th graders meet on Monday and Thursday. On Thursday, they explore college and learn skills they need to develop now to succeed later in college. Currently, the College Ambassadors Program of St. Mary's College sends college students to work with the high school students and the middle school students. On Thursdays, Rotarian George Hurlburt arranges a weekly speaker from the Lexington Park Rotary to speak on diverse topics such as fluid dynamics, engineering, real estate sales, or the world of running a small business, non-profit, or a museum. So Many Journeys students participate in the MyCrew@3:00 program on days So Many Journeys does not meet.
FLOW Mentoring Program
This program provides an intensive mentoring program in the elementary and middle, schools in St. Mary's County. See the FLOW link on the left for more information.