A Dropout Recovery Project Grant was awarded to Calallen, Odem-Edroy, and Taft ISDs in August 2010 is already providing approximately 40 students a chance to "drop back in."

The grant from the Texas Education Agency was used to establish a classroom, provide staff support, and assist with students' other needs so they could focus on completing high school through the diploma pathway or by earning a GED.

The first graduate is Ashley Bell, a 20 year-old female who dropped out of Taft High School in 2009. She enrolled in the Dropout Recovery Project in August 2010, attended specialized classes to acquire the credits she was missing, and earned her high school diploma.

She plans to enter Del Mar College and pursue studies in the medical field. Because of her perseverance, she will receive a $500 scholarship to further her education.

The Dropout Recovery Project employs a "whatever it takes" strategy to serve students who previously dropped out. Transportation and childcare are two examples of resources provided to students.

Students can earn monetary rewards for meeting specified benchmarks as they progress through the program.

They also can earn either a laptop computer or a $500 scholarship for school completion.

The districts have partnered with Communities in Schools - Corpus Christi to identify and recruit students who have dropped out of school, are between the ages of 16-24, and would like another opportunity to brighten their future.

To learn more about the joint Dropout Recovery Project Grant, call Kathy Horton at (361) 290-2756.