Ellwood receives GEER II grant funding

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2024

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Ellwood Christian Academy has applied for a grant through Governor Kay Ivey’s Emergency Education Relief II Fund (GEER II), receiving $408,000 in assistance towards the school’s instructional plans, technology upgrades and other essential services. The GEER II fund was established as part of the COVID Relief Act of 2021 and was specifically designed to provide emergency support to local educational agencies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund’s primary goal is to ensure continuity in educational services, covering areas like child care, early childhood education, social and emotional support, and safeguarding education-related jobs as described in section 18003(d)(1) of the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education allocated 5% of the total $81.88 billion from the COVID Relief Act for states to utilize through the GEER II Funding grant.

Dr. Ann Jones, a grant writer well-known in Central Alabama and the author of Ellwood Christian Academy’s GEER II funding request, described the process.

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“I gathered and organized data for Ellwood Christian Academy’s staff and wrote the grant as part of my role with ECA,” Jones said. “The application was submitted in Oct. 2022 and we received notification of its approval by mid-Dec. 2022.”

According to Dr. Jones, the GEER II funding will be allocated to purchase new textbooks, computers, furnishings, and technology, aiming to significantly enhance the academic success of Ellwood Christian Academy students in 2024 and beyond. In accordance with the CARES Act, GEER II funds are strictly prohibited from providing direct or indirect financial assistance to scholarship-granting organizations or related entities for elementary or secondary education.

However, measures like student enrichment programs are a top objective for the funding. Dr. Jones emphasized that  “transfer students, who may have initially struggled with reading, will now have the opportunity to engage in the GEER II funded reading programs.” These readiness programs will be designed to offer individual, self-paced learning paths tailored to each student’s unique needs.

“We are founded on Christian values and driven by a commitment to serve, Ellwood Christian Academy remains dedicated to the future of the next generation,” Dr. Jones said. “We eagerly anticipate completing our thirteenth academic year of service to Dallas and surrounding counties in Alabama’s Black Belt.”

Leaders at Ellwood, an esteemed Selma Christian Academy, take pride in the school’s past achievements. These include success stories of graduates who have become military personnel, law enforcement officers, teachers, nurses, engineers, writers, graduate students, and industrial workers, among others.

Dr. Jones emphasized that Ellwood Christian Academy remains focused on its forward-looking vision, aiming for every student to read at their grade level, excel in mathematics, and master verbal and written communication skills. As the 2023 – 2024 school year progresses, Ellwood administrators plan to maintain its momentum, thanks to the generous support from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief GEER II fund.

“Ellwood Christian Academy attributes all its successes to God,” Dr. Jones said. “Great things He has done!”