Failing grades and poor finances have one Bingham County school needing help. A new AmeriCorps grant aims to help both of those problems at Snake River Junior High School. The Blackfoot Community Center received the money Friday.
Snake River Junior High School is the only school in Idaho that qualified for nearly $250,000. Only 13 schools nationwide were awarded the grant.
"They have been identified just because over the course of the year they are one of the poorest schools in the state and are in the need of the most improvement," said Ashlee Howell, executive director of the Blackfoot Center.
Howell said the center will be a place for kids to go after school. They will use the grant money to train volunteers to be ready before school starts in fall.
"What they're learning during the regular school day will be extended into some after school things like more hands on learning, more homework help," she said.
Curriculum Director Sherrilynn Bair emphasizes after-school activities are essential for the four-day school week.
"Four days is not quite long enough for a lot of the kids to meet the standards that they need to meet," Bair said.
In the end, the administration is hoping the school will end up on the right path after many years of struggling.
"Snake River Junior High has been a two-star school with the state's school. I think we've had five different administrators within the last five years, so we've struggled with continuity as far as leadership goes," Bair said.
If you would like to volunteer with the Blackfoot Community Center, call Ashlee Howell at 208-339-3556.