Clinton County schools will pioneer a community learning program as the first rural school to participate.
Clinton County schools have taken the first steps to promote the Strive Program, a program designed to help students achieve academic goals with the help of community members.
“The program is about addressing a seamless education pipeline,” said John Jablonski, president of Clinton Community College
The program aims to promote each student’s journey through the pipeline, beginning at birth and continuing through every level of education, starting with kindergarten, by preparing students to read, to read to learn, and through high school to promote college preparedness or career establishment.
“We hope that the pipeline doesn’t have any leaks and that there are no students that are left behind and no students that drop out,” Jablonski said.
The Cincinnati-based, Strive Partnership, was first started by SUNY Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher while she was President of the University of Cincinnati. The program is focused on the success of every child, every step, from cradle to career. The program has been established in urban schools across the country, and Clinton County schools will be the first rural community to adopt the program.
Jablonski said CCC was working with SUNY Plattsburgh and other organizations trying to develop a program that would bridge members of the community with schools to help students at every level of education when they discovered the Strive Program.
“Essentially we were trying to reinvent the wheel when we realized the Strive Program, a program that has been established and exercised in many districts, was exactly what we were looking for,” Jablonski said.
Though the project is still in its infancy stage, Beekmantown Central School Superintendent Scott Amos said the Beekmantown Central School, Clinton Community College, Plattsburgh State, Peru Central School, North Country BOCES programs and area businesses such as Department of Labor, members of the Development Corporation, and members of the Chamber of Commerce will participate in the Strive Program.
“With the support of local businesses we hope to include internships and externships for students to gain work experience and get a feel for what avenue they would like to take in life,” Amos said.
The strive program in Clinton County is not just a group of educators, Jablonski said it is a public and private partnership that includes school leaders at all levels and includes business people.
“I think it represents a significant shift that it’s not just educators trying to come to grips with these issues,” Jablonski said. “It’s about representatives from other parts of the community that regard this as a positive community issue.”
Amos said the partners are currently searching for a project coordinator to begin the development of the program. The first step in the program is gaining community involvement, Amos said he thinks more and more organizations will join as the project goes on.
“I think kids will see many more adults who start working with them earlier in life and talk to them,” Amos said. “We will be converging together to say to the kids we are all here for you.”