SAFE BASE secures funding

After-school program awarded a $450,000 grant to continue part of the program for the next five years. Another grant will expire next year. The program has been going for 21 years.



June 29, 2021 - 10:15 AM

SAFE BASE at the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

SAFE BASE, the second longest-running after-school program in Kansas, received a federal grant that will provide a significant part of the funding for the next five years.

Angela Henry, director, told school board members Monday night the program was awarded a $450,000 grant from 21st Century Community Learning Center. The federal grant is administered by the state of Kansas and is very competitive.

It will allow SAFE BASE to pay for Jefferson Elementary School first- and second-graders for the next five years. The district will receive $100,000 each year for three years, then $80,000 in the fourth year and $70,000 after that.

This is the same grant that typically funds the SAFE BASE program.

A separate grant from the same organization pays for McKinley, Lincoln students and Iola Middle School fifth- and sixth-graders. It expires next year; the district will apply for it as well.

SAFE BASE just finished its 21st year. Only Independence has a longer after-school program, which started a year earlier.

The Iola district this year brought back its summer program, which hadn’t happened in several years. The four-week program took students to the Sedgwick County Zoo, to Woolaroc museum and wildlife preserve in Oklahoma, to the Amelia Earhart birthplace and museum, ziplining, Wichita’s Exploration Place, and a water parkin Derby.

The program served 106 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. For the first time, it also paid fees so parents, grandparents and guardians could accompany students on field trips. It had 42 adult participants.

The district agreed to fund three years of the summer program.

IN OTHER news, the school board:

Approved a handful of additional purchases this year after learning the district will have a budget surplus. The list of purchases includes a high jump pit and a pole vault pit with accessories. It also includes some kitchen equipment that can be moved to the new cafeteria at the new science and technology building now under construction at the Iola High School campus.

Heard a construction update on new school projects. Delivery of some items to the new science and technology building has been delayed, but the contractor is confident the building will open by the next school year. Recent rains could delay some work.

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