The Grant Applications to continue S.P.A.R.K.S. programs at Farwell High School, Beaverton Primary, Beaverton Middle School, and all Gladwin S.P.A.R.K.S. programs were recently submitted to the Michigan Department of Education. The preliminary funding announcement indicates that these programs will not be funded after June 30th. The impact on summer programs is not fully known at this time. We will contact parents as soon as a plan is in place. There will no be any S.P.A.R.K.S. programs in these buildings this fall.
The cutting of these programs was due in part to the across the board cuts in Federal funding (the "Sequester"), as well as a change in the priorities given to schools that rank lower on the Michigan Department of Education "Top to Bottom List". There was no priority given to programs that show a measurable benefit to students and fiscal responsibility, like S.P.A.R.K.S.
If you value the S.P.A.R.K.S. 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs, please take a minute to contact members of Congress. The Afterschool Alliance has a tool on their website, found here, that helps you to contact your members of congress in Washington. Let them know what these programs mean to you, and what their loss will mean to you and your students.
If you are concerned about the shift in priority for these programs, contact your Michigan Legislators. Click here to go to the Michigan Legislature website. There is a link at the top of this page to find your Senator or Representative.
We thank you for your support of the S.P.A.R.K.S. programs and hope that future funding is made available in order to bring these programs back to the districts and students we have served.
Joseph Trommater, Director
Keri Hamilton, Assistant Director