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Amory Afterschool Program


Capital: Health, Social

Community collaboration and support is essential in building students' strengths and promoting their capital growth. In Amory, Mississippi, the afterschool program is collaborating with community members, families, and churches, and expanding to the rural areas to meet the needs of those who need it the most.

This community effort is reaching out to very rural areas and building the trust of parents. Several churches have volunteered to work with the afterschool program and open their doors to allow students who would not be able to stay at the school-based program after dark or because of lack of transportation. This availability allows the extended program to serve those students who could not get the extra opportunities at school. Amory School Board administrator Susan Martin says, "We have real community leaders involved as well as a lot of minority participation and leadership." This involvement has helped every school served by the afterschool program meet adequate yearly progress. More specifically, the Amory students are now at the highest level of academic achievement in Mississippi.

The Amory afterschool program offers hands-on activities that keep students interested and engaged. These activities include art enrichment, youth leadership conferences, library programs, parent education, and physical fitness. Because of the range of activities and support of the staff, the program has seen a huge increase in attendance. Increased motivation for the afterschool program carries over to the school day.

The art program allows participants to create high-quality artwork, inspired by artists such as Monet and concepts such as cubism. Artwork is displayed monthly at local community businesses.

In a state that struggles with the high obesity rates, a physical fitness program is essential to teach children the value and benefits of life-long fitness. Amory's physical fitness program started through a grant that supported nursing, nutrition, and health programming and now has expanded to afterschool fitness through more donations. The continuation of the fitness program is a testament to community and business support. A fitness room is available to all program participants and their families and teachers. A climbing wall has been added, and staff are still working on ways to expand the program.

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