Waddell Center to offer academic assistance to students

Published 10:37 am Sunday, August 23, 2020

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Assistance for children in Albemarle in the upcoming school year will be given by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, according to a discussion at a recent meeting of the City Council.

Albemarle City Council was scheduled to have a presentation from Brent Kirven, community programs supervisor of AP&R, regarding a new middle school academic program at the E.E. Waddell Community Center.

Kirven was unable to make the presentation at the meeting, but City Manager Michael Ferris said the project will “help fill the void I think a lot of our residents are going to see in education and childcare,” referring to middle school students only going 50 percent of the time in person.

In the agenda, concerns about the current academic delivery model in the description stated “some students will fall behind academically due to a lack of resources and academic support.” The description further said the program “will support middle school students by providing a safe, structured, and supervised learning environment with the technology necessary to support online learning.”

Ferris said the program at the Waddell Center will have morning and afternoon sessions for up to 60 middle school students to give kids “a place to be in a safe environment (and) will also be provide educational assistance on the off week.”

An item passed on the agenda, Ordinance 20-20, showed receipt of grant funds from the Stanly County Community Foundation for the purchase of Chromebooks for the Waddell Center. Ferris said the ordinance “is somewhat related” to the new program, but the Chromebooks would have been needed for an after-school program had there been no COVID-19 pandemic and children going to school full-time as usual.

Councilman Chris Bramlett said he was impressed with the new program.

“I have grave concerns that during the time of virtual learning, non face to face learning, that there is going to be a greater increase in the difference between the haves and the have-nots,” he said.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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