Lowery Elementary grant proves successful

Brandie Richardson @B_Lifestyles
Lowery faculty dropping off booksacks for students.

     After only two months, the Believe and Succeed Grant awarded to Lowery Elementary School has done a bevy of things for the school and students.

     The grant, issued by the Louisiana Department of Education, helps students attending struggling schools in Louisiana and supports schools turnaround efforts and leadership initiatives.

     Principal Dawn Love said she was inspired to apply for the grant while attending the Closing the Achievement Gap Institute workshop last summer at Harvard University. She said that with the grant, the school is focusing on removing barriers for students so that they can focus on learning.

     “That has been our focus this school year is what can we do as a school to remove any external barriers that we can so that our kids can come to school and just focus on learning,” Love said. “That’s kind of where the grant came in. We have been looking for ways that, we as a school, can get extra funds to do things.”

     Funds from the $300,000 grant will be dispersed among various projects over the next three years. Some improvements that the school has already done with the grant money is donate backpacks with books to children who had broken bags, give new glasses to some children whose were broken, give school supplies to students in need and donate care packages filled with food and treats, among other things.

     Additionally, a behavior specialist was hired with the grant money in order to counsel and help students cope with certain issues in their lives.

     “He goes into the classrooms, he will sit with the kids and coach them in the moment, pull them to his office and work with them as well,” Love said. “We are really focusing on how can we help our kids deal with things that might be bothering them or how can we help them to behave in certain situations differently than maybe they have done in the past. The ultimate goal being our kids not getting suspension and not getting in trouble because we want them in class.”

     Over the next several semesters’ administrators intend to continue to send care packages to families in need throughout the school year, send another team of teachers to Harvard over the summer to attend more workshops, if accepted, and work on giving every student at Lowery Elementary one uniform and a school pull over sweater.

     “Ultimately our goal is to build our community up and support it any way we can, so our kids can one day grow up and pour into this community even more.”