Canton’s New Summer Education and Employment Program to Help Students

CANTON – Manuel Perry said he looks forward to making money on an inaugural summer education and employment program in Canton.

“He was very excited about it,” said his grandfather Michael Perry.

The 16-year-old and his grandfather attended the orientation of the new program Thursday, which will see Perry recoup academic credits and earn $ 11 an hour. Perry said he struggled in two classes in the past school year as he attended in person during the pandemic. He plans to save his summer income in order to get his driver’s license and a car.

The program was established by the City of Canton, Canton City School District, Simply Youth and the Stark County Community Action Agency (SCCAA). This is a three-hour academic session in the morning followed by lunch, then students are transported by bus to various work sites for three hours in the afternoon.

Terrance Jones speaks during the Simply Youth orientation on Thursday at the Kingdom Center in Canton.  Jones is the CEO of the organization, one of the partners running a new education and employment program this summer.

Kim Kingsbury, director of special projects at CCSD, said 94 students will participate in the program from June 7 to August 13. They will receive a weekly allowance.

“We specifically targeted students who were primarily virtual learners, so maybe a bit credit-deficient and who need this summer time to engage in face-to-face learning,” he said. she declared.

Gary Kandel, district director of teaching, learning and innovative programs, said they had worked with summer school principals to share information with families and enroll students – starting with seniors and juniors. The program will allow some students to complete the academic requirements so that they can graduate this summer.

“One of the other things we wanted to focus on a bit was giving students that element of college and career preparation,” Kingsbury said.

Davonne Anthony helps his son Stefan Anthony with his candidacy while Terrance Jones speaks during the Simply Youth orientation on Thursday at the Kingdom Center in Canton.  Jones is the CEO of the organization, which is partnering with a new morning summer school and afternoon work experience program.

Canton’s Simply Youth and other partners

Simply Youth will supervise 40 students and the SCCAA will supervise 54 students during the afternoon. The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce helped secure work sites, including First Tee, Napoli’s Italian Eatery, and Muggswigz Coffee and Tea.

“Mainly downtown businesses have joined us, and we will also have students from the district who will work with our maintenance department to help get our buildings ready for the fall,” Kingsbury said.

Rodney Reasonover, CEO of SCCAA, said his agency has also helped students find jobs for the joint education and employment program. The SCCAA and Simply Youth also offer separate summer programs.

“We are happy to be part of this collaboration and believe that at the end of the summer we will see excellent results from an academic point of view as well as from an employment point of view”, declared Reasonover.

Terrance Jones (top left) chats with Christina Johnson (right) and son Koran Johnson (left) during the Simply Youth orientation Thursday at Kingdom Center.  Jones is the CEO of the organization, which is one of the partners running a new summer education and employment program.

Terrance Jones, CEO of Simply Youth, led the orientation at the Kingdom Center, where students will be day camp assistants, serve meals and do landscaping work. Jones said the work-study-style program meets the economic and academic needs of students affected by the pandemic.

“They have the opportunity to take credit recovery courses and have a teacher, a certified teacher on hand to help them, and also have the opportunity to work in rewarding jobs the other part of the day,” he said. he declared.

Kingsbury has said she would like the program or a version of it to continue in the future. It is funded this summer by $ 148,000 from the school district and various COVID-19 relief funds distributed by the city.

City's distribution of COVID-19 relief funds for summer programs

“We thought this program would be of benefit to the students at Canton City School,” Deputy Mayor Fonda Williams said in an email. “Many of our students need to recoup credit and work experience and these funds will allow students to receive both.”

The city awarded $ 907,756 – a combination of the US bailout and relief funds for the COVID-19 community development bloc – to several partners for summer programs focused on education, employment or a mix of the two. Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio, EN-RICH-MENT, Canton Parks and Recreation and the Ambassador program were among the winners.

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