VANOSS — Vanoss School will launch its Project Power: Pursuit of Wisdom, Excellence and Respect, beginning Dec. 4, thanks to the 21st Century Grant it received.

Vanoss School has offered a small before-and-after school program in the past that seemed inadequate to Superintendent Cheryl Melton. So, she decided to do something about it, applying for and receiving a federal grant from the 21st Century Community Learning Program. According to Melton, the program is a key component of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind act which provides students the opportunity to continue to learn new skills and discover new abilities after the school day has ended. “With the 21st Century money we will be able to add a lot of academic enrichment and incorporate the fine arts into the program,” Melton said.

Vanoss will receive $150,000 each year for three years. On the fourth year the school will be awarded 80 percent of the money, and on the fifth and last year will receive only 60 percent of the funds. “Then it is hoped you will be able to sustain the program on your own,” she said.

The Project Power Director Ann Mullins is every excited about the opportunities this grant has opened up for the children of Vanoss. The program plans to extend the school day from 3-6 p.m. It will offer activities such as tutoring, homework assistance, math for fun, piano, drums, guitar, brass instruments, karaoke, dance, field trips, counseling, arts and crafts, photography, scrapbooking, web-based activities, stem lab, desktop publishing, exercise classes, geocaching, reading circles, hands-on learning and character education. “We intend to have them [the students] learn while they think they are just playing,” Melton said.

The extended day classes will be taught by Vanoss teachers, along with volunteers from the community who will teach “mini-camp” type classes. A “mini-camp” on clogging is already in the works. Project Power is hosting an open house Nov. 27 from 3-5 p.m. at Vanoss Cafeteria that will feature examples of the types of programs it will offer.