City schools win $1.5M federal grant to support military kids, families

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Virginia Beach City Public Schools won a $1.5 million federal grant Monday to help support students and families who are connected to the military. (Photo courtesy VBCPS)

Virginia Beach City Public Schools won a $1.5 million federal grant Monday to help support students and families who are connected to the military. (Photo courtesy VBCPS)

Seven Virginia Beach schools will share a $1.5 million federal grant to support students whose families are connected to the military, the school system announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity awarded a five-year $1.5 million grant to Virginia Beach City Public Schools to help strengthen family-school relations and boost achievement among students with military ties, according to a release from VBCPS. The funding will be earmarked for Project GRIT, which stands for Global Resilient Independent Thinkers. The project, initiated by VBCPS, helps support military-connected students with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) intiatives, as well as socio-emotional support, the release said.

“With nearly one-third of our student population connected to the military, we recognize their unique needs as learners and the challenges placed upon their families with frequent deployments and relocations,” Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence said in the release. “We are committed to providing additional resources and programs to support their academic and socio-emotional needs and appreciate the DoDEA’s support of our work.”

The seven Project GRIT participants are: Centerville Elementary School, Kempsville Meadows Elementary School, Shelton Park  Elementary School, White Oaks Elementary School, Kempsville Middle School, Lynnhaven Middle School and Bayside High School.

VBCPS picked the schools based on the size of their military-affiliated student populations and their need for additional activities in areas covered by the grant, the release said.

Ten thousand students receive support from VBCPS military counselors, according to the school system’s website, which has a section for military families.

“With a high number of military-connected students, the school division is constantly developing resources and services to support these children and their families,” the site says. “After all, transition can be a challenging experience, but we hope to make your family’s transition a positive one.”

Project GRIT activities include a collaboration with the STEM Education Alliance at the College of William & Mary, according to the release.

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