Poplar Bluff schools intern solicits votes to win $50K grant | News
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - An intern at Poplar Bluff Schools is attempting to make a big impact in a short period of time if his $50,000 request to renovate the Graduation Center goes viral.
Chris Martin of the social work division recently submitted a grant proposal to the ‘Power A Bright Future’ program through Clorox Company which, if the project receives the most votes by Dec. 19, would go
toward technology improvements and cosmetic upgrades of the George R. Loughead Learning Center.
To vote, which can be repeated daily on both the web and by cell phone, text 2422pbf to 95248; go to www.powerabrightfuture.com, click ‘Vote for Nominees’ and conduct a search for ‘Poplar Bluff;’ or go directly to
Martin’s project page by visiting http://pbschools.us/X05P1M, where registration can be completed via Facebook.
“I visited the Graduation Center on my first day here and it really had an effect on me seeing how kids who have fallen behind for whatever reason get a chance to catch up to their cohorts,” Martin explained. “I started brainstorming things that can be done, knowing my internship wasn’t long enough to write a full proposal.”
Martin discovered that Oakland, Calif.-based Chlorox started a school charity program four years ago, this time around offering seven grants total, four based on votes and three based on merit as determined by company officials and education experts. The total amount to be awarded is $200,000, $25,000 to the winners of each of the respective categories, and the top prize going to the nominee with the most votes overall.
With three categories to choose from—play, create or explore—Martin selected the last, explaining in his proposal: “These renovations would give the student an atmosphere that inspires and emboldens them to look beyond their current circumstances, and explore their full potential.”
“Everything we have here—technology, curriculum—we’ve purchased with grants,” said Aaron Duncan, Graduation Center teacher. “This grant would help us improve our graduation rates, help more kids get jobs, and society as a whole as we create more positive contributors.”
The Graduation Center began offering credit recovery services to junior and senior high students in 2010, allowing referred students at risk of dropping out the opportunity to graduate with their respective class by offering one-on-one academic support.
The program operates out of a Maud Street facility which once served as the school’s central office. The Graduation Center also houses the Missouri Option program, another credit recovery opportunity that prepares students to receive their GED diploma. While staff members have done their own work on the building in recent years such as painting the walls, they agreed that the structure is showing its age.
Martin plans to graduate from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau with a bachelor’s degree in social work on Dec. 15, the day his internship ends with Poplar Bluff Schools, but with the public’s help, his vision can be realized here.
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