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Governor visits Monticello to announce $7.1 million in after-school grants

Nov. 16, 2017

Kids hold up signs and cheer for Gov. CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Monticello Thursday at the Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School with some very good news: The Monticello Central School District will receive nearly $7.1 million over the next five years for its elementary after-school programs.

The funding is from the Empire State After-School Program Grant and Monticello is one of several districts throughout the state to receive the grant funding.

“We are changing the way we think about school,” Cuomo told the packed gym, filled with third, fourth and fifth grade KLR students, local, county and state dignitaries and district personnel. “It doesn’t end at 3 o’clock. Because there are more and better things we can do after 3 o’clock. There are things you can do at 3 o’clock that help you grow and make you better.”

Monticello’s three elementary schools will expand their after-school offerings beginning in January, according to Dana Taylor, executive director of Special Summer and After School Programs.

The plans include after-school enrichment clubs at the elementary level, such as dance, music, art, student council, physical activity, wellness and nutrition, as well as family engagement and field trips on Saturdays.

“Transportation is a barrier in the county and we’re going to remove that and take the kids places,” said Taylor. “This is really going to provide amazing opportunities for students to have real life experiences.” Signs welcome the governor

It was a special day for many in the district – it’s not every day that the governor comes to your school – but especially for two KLR students.

Wilaria St. Eloi, a fifth grader, had the honor of introducing Cuomo. She sat with him and chatted on the stage as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther welcomed the governor and acknowledged many in the audience.

Cuomo touted the state’s initiatives in education, noting that New York invests more money per pupil than any other state in the country and that the high school graduation rate is now 79 percent, the highest it has ever been. He pressed the importance of a college education and encouraged the students to do well now so they will be accepted to college in the future.

Governor holds up third grader who waves to the crowd.Why are we doing this he asked the students? Two reasons. Because it’s smart for everyone, he told the kids. He asked them for the other reason and gave a hint – it’s a word that contains four letters. Hands went up. Third grader Xyaira Brown said “love.” She went up on stage with the governor and received her special prize, a pin with the state seal, and Cuomo hoisted her up in his arms as she waved to her schoolmates.

Another reason #MonticelloRocks.