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5 Wood County schools to get share of new $4 million W.Va. extracurricular activities fund

(WTAP)
Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:26 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:42 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Five Wood County schools will be receiving a share of $4 million from the state of West Virginia to support extracurricular programs affected by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said in a news release on Friday.

The money for both public and private schools will come from the newly created Extracurricular Equity Fund announced Friday by Gov. Jim Justice, State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch and State Board of Education President Miller Hall.

More than $190,000 will be going to the Wood County schools, with the largest shares going to Parkersburg and Parkersburg South high schools.

When the pandemic hit, public health practices and guidelines caused a hardship for many high school programs, officials said, adding that many experienced increased costs to comply with the more stringent health and safety requirements.

In addition to sports programs, officials said the money will also be used to support bands, choir programs and a variety of other student organizations.

“As a coach, I’m in our schools all the time. I know how hard our athletes work, how diligently our bands and auxiliary groups prepare, and how hard our students in various clubs and groups work,” Justice said. “These extracurricular activities are so important to our kids and our communities. The pandemic has been an absolute punch to the stomach in a lot of ways, but I do not want losses this year to adversely affect these activities in the years to come.”

The fund is based on student enrollment and dedicates $50 per student to the schools.

They money will helps stabilize programs that will continue to operate once COVID-19 is over, officials said. Justice s matching the West Virginia Department of Education’s $2 million allocation to the fund.

“We continue to hear from our counties and our schools about the impact of COVID-19,” Burch said. “We’ve worked very hard to provide a framework of support around all aspects of our education system. This fund is a continuation of that support and it will be beneficial today and once the pandemic is in our rear view mirrors. We greatly appreciate the governor’s support in this endeavor.”

Following are amounts going to Mid-Ohio Valley schools:

Wood County: Parkersburg High School, $86,400; Parkersburg South High School, $75,100; Williamstown High School, $20,700; Parkersburg Catholic School , $4,500; and Wood County Christian School $3,500

Jackson County: Ravenswood High School, $22,500; and Ripley High School, $43,350

Pleasants County: St. Marys High School, $16,900

Ritchie County: Ritchie County High School, $21,800

Wirt County: Wirt County High School: $14,250

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