F.L.A.S.H.C.A.T.S. is a before and after school program designed to provided enrichment, socialization, and tutoring assistance to students in grades 3-5 at Holly Harshman Elementary School. Some targeted outcomes of this program are providing students with enriching experiences, keeping kids in a safe environment until parents are off of work for the day, improving academic performance, and providing socialization that might otherwise be lacking in a child’s life. Currently over 150 students are being served at HHE.
F.L.A.S.H.C.A.T.S. is an acronym for Fun Learning After School Hours; Community, Activities, Teachers, and Students. A 2013 study found that regular participation by students of at least 30 days or more in after school programs show improved academic and behavioral outcomes, and reduced school absences. Mena Public Schools is excited to provide this opportunity for our upper elementary students and their families.
The program is held Monday through Thursday for twenty-three weeks during the school year and will include six field trips that students may earn opportunity to attend with points they receive for attending daily activities. It also includes two weeks of enrichment in the summer months. Participating students have an opportunity to receive tutoring each morning, Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 to 7:45 and after school from 3:45 to 4:15. Five different clubs are offered each day from 4:15 to 5:00. A few of the clubs offered are robotics, cookie, sewing, cosmetology, photography, sports, and gardening.
A separate grant from the Arkansas Department of Human Services provides a healthy snack for students at 3:15 each afternoon. An evening meal, that follows our state’s nutritional guidelines, is served to students at 5:00. If parents call the office I the morning to let the school know, then siblings of F.L.A.S.H.C.A.T.S. students under the age old 18 may also enjoy the evening meal. Parents should call ahead to notify the school so there will be an accurate meal count and then bring the siblings to the cafeteria at 5:00.
The F.L.A.S.H.C.A.T.S. program is made possible by the U.S Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) initiative program. The grant is for a period of five years and is deigned to partner with local businesses, organizations, and individuals who want to assist the program by providing financial assistance, volunteers, or support services.
Local organizations that are currently collaborating partners include the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Rich Mountain Community College, Healthy Connections, Inc., Polk County Master Gardeners, Mena Police Department, Atwoods of Mena, Ouachita Wellness and Sports Center, Union Bank of Mena, Arvest Bank, Southwest EMS, Inc., USDA Forest Service, Nidec Motor Corporation, Rich Mountain Community College of Cosmetology, Polk County Library, and Mena Regional Health System. Other businesses or groups that would like to extend support to this exceptional cause would be appreciated. If interested you may call the Holly Harshman office or contact Ms. Paulette Crawford at 479-234-2911 or Mrs. Cindy Brevik at 479-234-5218. Great things are happening at Holly Harshman Elementary School.