Smokey Barn News
Thursday July 31, 2014
Springfield, Robertson County – Tenn.
Bransford After School Program To Receive 60k Grant Per Pear For The Next Three Years
On July 30, 2014, Greater Faith Community Action Corporation (GFCAC) was notified that it has been approved to receive grant funding for the Bransford Pride After School and Summer Camp program in the amount of $60,000 per year for the next three (3) years. The funding is going to provide a consistent flow of revenue to fund the children’s programs, while allowing expanded services for the children, their families, and the community at-large.
A grant application was submitted to the Tennessee State Department of Education for consideration under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Lottery for Education: After-School Programs. It was a highly competitive process whereby 147 applications submitted applications totaling more than $43 million in funding. The total available funding totaled $24 million from uncollected lottery money identified by the State.
The Bransford Pride After School and Summer Camp program was initiated in the Fall of 2012. The Bransford High School, which was the historically African-American high school in Springfield for many years, was in a state of abandonment and disrepair. It is currently owned by the City of Springfield, and it is located at 1519 John L. Patterson Street. The Bransford Redevelopment Board was created to preserve the facility for its rich history community significance. The board conducted community surveys, and obtained architectural services to design a facility to provide various community services to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.
One of the highest priorities for the facility was to implement an after school program and summer camp to help raise the academic performance of children in the area. To that end, the board partnered with the Robertson County School System as well as the City of Springfield to help plan for a program that would offer academic enhancement to its students.
The central section of the building required renovation requiring a great deal of manpower and resources. The renovations were completed by local businesses, local churches, alumni from the Bransford High School, and private individuals who wanted to make a difference.
The Bransford After School Program began with a total of 12 students, and it grew to more than sixty (60) students enrolled with a waiting list. Today, it typically serves between fifty (50) and sixty (60) students. The board expanded the program to include a Summer Camp each year to maintain the academic gains that are sometimes lost during the summer months.
Funding for the programs has typically been provided by the Robertson County School Board, the City of Springfield, local churches (especially GFCAC and Long Hollow Baptist churches), the YMCA, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, local businesses, tuition fees, fundraising events, and individual donors. The grant funding will be used to provide a reliable revenue stream for operating expenses, while increasing services offered to the community. Grant funding will be used to establish a computer lab that will be accessible to the students as well as the community at-large. Programs will be offered to assist parents so that they can assist their children with school work. Additional programs will be offered to improve employment opportunities in the community, while enhancing the life-skills of participants.