By William Kincaid
COLDWATER -- School board members talked on Tuesday about potentially ending the Cav Club because of decreased state funding.
The Cav Club is an after-school activities program for students in kindergarten through high school. Elementary guidance counselor Sue Bills said the program offers supervised study sessions with snacks. On Mondays there is a Big Brother program, while on Fridays students travel to Break-Away in Celina for a fitness program.
"Parents have come to know it, love it and expect it," Superintendent Rich Seas said. "We'll be looking for data to support its existence."
This year's Twenty-first Century grant funding dropped 25 percent. Therefore, for the first time in the program's four-year history, students are being charged a participation fee of $1 a day.
Middle school Principal Jerry Kanney was disappointed about the possible termination of the program. He said the academic effects from an hour of supervised help were quite noticeable. Students who struggle with academics can go to the after-school program. Although there is a fee this year, he said students are still coming. "It's not like if you didn't pay your dollar, you're out of here," he said.
Board members took no action on continuing or discontinuing the Cav Club.
In other discussion, Seas said he wants to use the video documentation of a Coldwater alumni helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as an education piece.
"A teacher in a classroom -- say social studies -- will be able to get the kids to understand the demographics and the people," he said.
Alumni Matt Hibner and nine of fellow Ball State University students traveled to a small Alabama community devastated by the hurricane to offer direct relief on Sept. 22. Instead of working through the American Red Cross, the college students brought provisions by a semitrailor to Bayou La Batre, Ala., a small shrimping community that was once the seafood capital of the world and a setting in the 1994 movie "Forrest Gump."
While in Alabama, Hibner will document the disaster with pictures and videos for the Coldwater schools, which is coordinating activities among faculty and staff to donate to the trip.
In a recent letter, Hibner wrote, "It is our goal to give the victims a chance to restart their lives and provide them with the necessities of everyday life."
Ball State participant Ivo Rozendall of Valparaiso, Ind., said the group spent a few weeks looking for a small community needing considerable help.
"We wanted to go to a place first affected by the hurricane, that could be potentially forgotten when things settle down ... like some of the smaller towns in Florida after their hurricane," he said.