MVES gives out Title 1 backpacks

Shelby County Schools Federal Program Area Specialist Mark Gray demonstrates an activity during a Meadow View Elementary School Title 1 backpack meeting on Sept. 20. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Meadow View Elementary School parents got a chance to learn about one of the perks of the school’s Title 1 classification during several Sept. 20 meetings in the school’s library.

During the meetings, school faculty members handed out free backpacks stuffed with math-related activity materials sent to MVES as part of the school’s Title 1 classification. The free backpacks are available to parents with children in kindergarten, first and second grade.

A school can be declared a Title 1 school if more than 40 percent of the school’s enrollment is on free or reduced lunches. This school year marks Meadow View’s first as a Title 1 school.

Because of its Title 1 classification, MVES will get more than $442,600 in additional federal funding beginning Oct. 1.

During the second backpack meeting at 9 a.m., Shelby County Schools Federal Program Area Specialist Mark Gray told about 50 first-grade parents about the backpack program, and demonstrated each activity outlined in the backpack materials.

The school also hosted backpack meetings at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Gray said each backpack cost about $30, but was given to the school through the Title 1 program. None of the $442,600 in the school’s federal money was used to purchase the backpacks, he said.

“The activities in the backpack are meant to be supplemental. It’s meant to be over and above what your child’s teacher is already doing,” Gray said.

The backpacks included materials such as workbooks, small plastic and foam shapes and a small magnetic board. Gray told parents how to use the materials to help their children understand classifications, measurements, grouping and other math-related concepts.

Gray also encouraged the parents to use math-related terms often while speaking to their children.

“We want them to know why they do what they do, especially in math,” Gray said. “This is a fun way to get them to share their thinking.”