$250K Gift to Support After-School, Summer School


Durango School District 9-R received the first $250,000 check from the Durango Education Foundation's “Bridge the Gap” campaign to raise $450,000 to enhance K-12 literacy, math and science programs. This story is sponsored by Closets Plus and Happy Pappy's Pizza and Wings.

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Durango School District 9-R will soon be able to offer after school and summer school enrichment programs, thanks to a $250,000 donation from the Durango Education Foundation. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza n Wings and Closets Plus. I'm Wendy Grahams Settle. When students reading skills fall below grade level, they also start to fall behind in other subjects because reading is essential for learning. Now, thanks to the Durango Education Foundation's Bridge the Gap campaign, students not only will have additional opportunities to improve reading skills, but they'll be able to keep up with their peers in other subjects. Last fall, the Durango Education Foundation launched the Bridge the Gap campaign to help the school district recover student learning losses caused by the pandemic. The foundation agreed to match community donations up to $200,000, with the goal of raising a total of $450,000 for the campaign. The foundation presented its first check of $250,000 to the school district at the end of March.

I'm so excited today to accept this donation on behalf of Durango School District 9-R that will benefit our students in a variety of ways by providing them things that are just outside of the constraints of our budget. So thank you so much for all of your hard work to help us with these funds for our students. We appreciate it.

Durango superintendent, Karen Cheser said, "The district will purchase leveled readers "for all grade levels in literacy, math, and sciences." Leveled readers are books that allow students to read at their skill level, but are challenging enough for them to make progress and to keep up on the subject matter they're studying. The foundation's gift also will fund social, emotional support programs, and more after school, and summer school programs.

But after school, we know we have a tremendous possibility, an opportunity for students to stay after school. And not only to receive sort of tutoring, and reading, and math, but do some really fun, creative programs so that they can build that social, emotional wellness. And they also can learn about stem, and creativity, and all those skills that we are working towards their Portrait of a Graduate. And then a summer school program, that might not be your typical summer school program, where we provide summer bridge books for all of our students, especially elementary. And then we have events every couple of weeks, really fun, cool events where if students complete parts of their summer bridge book, they'll have entry into those really cool events. So we want to make learning fun. We want to extend learning beyond the school day. And we want to provide many, many resources that really engage kids and compliment the curriculum that we have now.

DEF executive director, Diana Cruz said, "The Bridge the Gap campaign will continue "through the end of the school year, "with the goal of raising "a hundred thousand dollars more from the community." The foundation will continue to match community donations to the campaign. If you'd like to know more about the foundation and its campaign, visit durangoeducationfoundation.org. To learn more about the school district and its programs, visit durangoschools.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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