BEATRICE – Beatrice Public Schools has learned that the district has received a big boost in continuing its after-school program in the district.
Superintendent Jason Alexander says the district has been notified of an annual grant of $169,750….for each of the next five years. It comes from a federal community learning centers program through the Nebraska Department of Education.

"The impact of that is huge from the standpoint that without that grant coming from the federal government, and the work that is done to secure that would be very difficult to continue to offer our after-school BLAST programs. Through the cooperation with the school providing the facilities and the Beatrice Educational Foundation operating the facilitation of the grant, the hiring of the staff and managing all the details that go along with that after school program it's possible for us to offer that to our parents for after-school care."

The BLAST program typically serves between 80 and 130 young students on a daily basis. Beatrice Educational Foundation Executive Director Doris Martin said getting the funding was the result of support from many directions.

"The community support was huge. We had to document the amount of in-kind and monetary donations we received, and we had to match that dollar-for-dollar. It's very impressive, the town of Beatrice, the amount of help that we received from both individuals and organizations."

Alexander said it was the largest grant of its kind given in Nebraska.  He credited grant writer for the district, Lorrie Stierwalt.  Five-year grants went to eleven other schools in Nebraska, including Nebraska City, Lincoln and Crete in southeast Nebraska.  Those awards ranged from $50,000 to $137,000.

The Beatrice School Board honored its May employee of the month, Bonnie Muller…a substitute teacher coordinator who is retiring this year after filling a critical role for the district.   

At the end of this school year, the Beatrice Public Schools will be losing 184 years of total service with the retirements of eight teachers or counselors. 

Also recognized as the May Business Friend of the Month by Beatrice Public Schools, is Walmart, in Beatrice…for their support of various programs and projects in the school system.