The Union Recorder

Local News

July 20, 2010

YES Program to serve 610 students this year

MILLEDGEVILLE — After another successful year serving Baldwin County students, the YES Program, Youth Enrichment Services, is gearing up for the upcoming academic year.

As decision letters are being sent out with a few more applications under review, Georgia College & State University Director of Grants Proposal Development and Special Projects Linda Watson-Kaufman said each individual student is looked at as a whole before a final decision is made.

“We have to look at the whole student to determine their acceptance into the program,” she said. “We look at their academic need, attendance, discipline record and teacher recommendations.”

With the help of 200 YES staffers, including education coordinators, site coordinators, tutors and teachers, the program serves 70 students at Baldwin High, 120 at Midway Elementary, Oak Hill and Blandy Hills and 180 at Eagle Ridge.

“We can serve 610 students in Baldwin County, but we have many more applications than that, especially for Oak Hill where we have 150 students coming up from the fifth grade,” Watson-Kaufman said. “We look forward to seeing young people and their parents return to the program.”

Midway offered the program for the first time to fourth- and fifth-graders last year, but will expand programming to third-graders beginning with the coming school year.

Funded by the Georgia Department of Education through a grant awarded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center, students who were enrolled in YES last year received academic help and participated in activities such as violin, orchestra, drumming, theater, arts, digital photography, dance, tennis and

martial arts.

“After school gives students extra time to better understand concepts,” Watson-Kaufman said. “The purpose of the YES Program is to help students ... be ready for post-secondary education and work.”

Orientation for all program staff is slated for Aug. 9 and 10. Mandatory parent meetings for all students accepted into the YES Program will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 at Oak Hill, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 at Blandy Hills and Thursday, Aug. 12 at Eagle Ridge, Midway and Baldwin High.

“The teachers are excited. The post-planning session in June went very well. We looked at what could be better and what worked,” Watson-Kaufman said. “We sent 10 teachers to a professional development program in Athens, called Georgia After School Academy, to best prepare them for the next year.”

Programming for Midway, Oak Hill and Baldwin High will begin Wednesday, Aug. 18. Blandy Hills and Eagle Ridge will launch the 2010-2011 YES Program Wednesday, Sept. 8, followed by a second application round in December.

The program’s mission is to raise achievement and educational aspirations for students in grades three through 12 each school day between 3 and 5 p.m. YES is a partnership involving Georgia College, the Baldwin County Board of Education and Baldwin County Parks and Recreation.

For more information about YES, call Watson-Kaufman at (478) 445-0145 or Richard Hartry at (478) 454-9012.

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