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Transformation Waco 'After School Academies' Program Seeks Community Involvement

(Will Burney/KWBU Radio)
GW Carver Middle School is one school within Transformation Waco.

As Transformation Waco marks it’s first year - staff are prepping for the success of the 5 schools under its’ wing. Two schools, Indian Spring Middle School and JH Hines Elementary, are expanding a concept for afterschool programming.  

Transformation Waco was created last summer in response to five underperforming schools in Waco Independent School District – Brook Avenue, JH Hines, Alta Vista, Indian Spring and GW Carver. 

While three of the five schools either have grants or partnerships for their afterschool programs - Indian Spring and JH Hines are expanding a growing concept called ‘After School Academies.’

Travis Cheatham is a Family Support Specialist for Transformation Waco at Indian Spring Middle School.

He says Alta Vista is partnering with the YMCA for their afterschool activities. Brook Avenue has support from the TTIPS, or the Texas Title I Priority Schools grant. And GW Carver has The Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) grant, administered by the Texas Education Agency. 

He says representatives within the in-district charter program are working to expand ‘After School Academies’ with support of community involvement and volunteers. 

Indian Spring and JH Hines are looking to have group volunteers of 2 to 3 to educate children after school.

“So the biggest thing is finding a commitment, and so what that can look like is doing like a six-week session, doing a full semester or doing the full year," Cheatham said.  

The campuses are interested in sharing passions and skills from groups in the community that will be able to develop fun lesson plans. 

Past groups have tackled subjects including math, art, music, athletics and critical thinking games. 

One goal is to have more collaboration between Transformation Waco schools to take best practices from each of the campuses and develop a model that can be replicated.  

The week of September 9th will likely be an orientation week with volunteer groups beginning on September 16th

Volunteers can sign up for the After-School Academies by contacting Cheatham at Indian Spring or Angela Ceccato at JH Hines.

School for WISD starts on August 20th.

Kateleigh joined KWBU in January 2019. She is an Oklahoma native that is making the move to Waco after working as an All Things Considered host and producer at affiliate KOSU Radio in Oklahoma City. She is a former NPR Next Generation Radio Fellow, a Society of Professional Journalists award winner, an Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame recipient for ‘Outstanding Promise in Journalism’ and the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association’s 2017 recipient for ‘College Newspaper Journalist of the Year.’ After finishing up her journalism degree early she decided to use her first year out of college to make the transition from print media to public radio. She is very excited to have joined KWBU and she is looking forward to all the opportunities it will bring - including providing quality journalism to all Texans.