Sussex County Council grants support for Clayton Elementary mentoring program

FRANKFORD – John M. Clayton Elementary School’s student mentoring program will continue through the 2014-15 year – thanks in large part to Sussex County Council’s support.

With councilmatic pledges from County Council members Rob Arlett, R-Frankford, and George Cole, R-Ocean View, the Council voted 5-0 in approving a $2,000 contribution at its March 31 meeting.

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Lisa Ashman, Mentoring Program Coordinator at John M. Clayton Elementary, had requested financial assistance for the grant-funded program, which provides academic support to targeted students.

“In the spring of 2014 we were awarded two small grants, which provided limited funds for this year’s mentoring program,” Ms. Ashman stated in her request addressed to Mr. Arlett, who represents the Frankford area as Council’s District 4 representative. “Unfortunately, we have almost depleted our available funding for this school year.”

Mr. Arlett pledged $1,500 for his councilmatic fund. Mr. Cole contributed $500.

“This is not funded at all by the school district. This directly impacts these children, and their ability to read. That is where we need to put a priority to some of these dollars, is those who truly have that need,” said Mr. Arlett. “If this does happen they will shut down their door for the remainder of the year …”

For 2014-15 school-year, there are about 60 mentors and over 90 students in the program, which begins in October and ends in May.

Mentors meet with each of their assigned students during a specified day and time each week, for 45 minutes.

The mentoring program is available to all students enrolled at John M. Clayton Elementary. The vast majority of JMC students reside in Dagsboro, Frankford and Selbyville, while some students attend through “school choice” and reside in other areas of the County.

Based in Frankford, John M. Clayton Elementary was one of three schools in Delaware and 337 nationwide to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2014 – an honor the school also received in 2004.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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