September 29, 2016
Chief Ed Ryan and the FWBPD kicked off our after school mentoring work at Edwins Elementary as part of the OCSD’s ASPIRE program on September 27th, 2016.
This new initiative will have uniformed FWBPD officers work with children at FWB based Edwins, Elliot Point and Wright Elementary schools enrolled in the ASPIRE after school programs.
According to Chief Ryan “On the first day, the kids settled right into their homework and playground time with their new visitors; they even managed to teach the officers a few new tricks out on the field. It was a great time for the students to pick up some new skills (including a little photography) and get to know the officers who serve and protect in their community on a daily basis. And of course, it was a great time for us!”
“Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our students”, said OCSD Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson. “This program helps our youngest students and police work together in a positive environment, and grow deep roots together in the Fort Walton Beach community”.
“Our ASPIRE program is a tremendous asset to these particular schools”, stated Dr. Sandra Arteaga, the district’s Title 1 and X specialist. “The ASPIRE program stands for “After School Program in Reaching Excellence” and is specific to Edwins, Elliot Point, Wright and Baker. This reading program will help these students by providing them positive mentoring role models, and we look forward to a great partnership with the FWBPD.”
About the ASPIRE program:
OCSD ASPIRE (After School Program in Reaching Excellence) is an after school program at the following elementary schools: Baker, Edwins, Elliott Point, Wright. This is the 2nd year of a 5 year federal 21st CCLC grant we were awarded. Last year was the first time Okaloosa Schools had ever had this grant awarded to the district. It provides homework help, snack and enrichment activities such as: healthy living, exercise, STEM activities, music, field trips, art, drama, technology, robotics, literacy and much more. The program runs Monday–Friday, 172 days out of a 180 day school year.