ECHOES which stands for "Every Child Has the Opportunity to Excel and Succeed," is the after-school program under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal grant. It began in Brooks County in September 2006. The ECHOES Program targets students who may need extra help in certain subjects, especially Reading and Math, during the after-school hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The students are taught by certified teachers, and one and a half hours daily are devoted to academic work. Students are given help with homework, taken to the computer lab for computer-based curriculum work, and coached in areas where they may need extra concentration and encouragement. ECHOES also provides a safe environment for students during the after-school hours.
Recreation and enrichment activities are also an integral parent of the ECHOES Program. Students receive instruction in fitness and wellness, character education, the arts (such as dance and drama), learning games, and team sports. Field trips are planned periodically for ECHOES students, and have included the Agrirama in Tifton, the Flint Riverquarium in Albany, and art museums in Quitman and surrounding cities.
Students also receive a nutritious snack, and bus transportation is provided for all students. The ECHOES Program also works closely with family members of the students involved, holding monthly family meetings and instruction in areas of homework help, GED and Adult Literacy classes, and technology classes. ECHOES Summer Program runs during the month of June and is open to students at each school in Brooks County. For more information, contact Janie Jones, Program Director at 263.7531.
Transportation is provided at no cost for students who need it. Students are taken to designated pick-up and drop-off points throughout the county. ECHOES is funded through a federal grant under the “No Child Left Behind” Act. The original grant (QES, NBES, and BCMS) began in September of 2006. Continuation funding for this grant was received in July 2011, for the next three years. The BCHS Program began in 2010 and will continue until 2013, when reapplication for further years will be made.
Over the last five years, we have seen significant increases in standardized test scores, promotion rates, homework completion, and even school attendance and behavior among our students. Our 2012 Credit Recovery Summer Program at Brooks County High School and Credit Repair Program at Brooks County Middle School were extremely successful, with over 30 students completing lessons and tests, enabling them to either graduate or be promoted to the next grade level. Complete results are available from Mrs. Janie Jones at the Board of Education Office. A summary of 2011-2012 ECHOES Evaluation reports are available HERE.
The trips, activities, transportation, snacks, and meals are all free to ECHOES students. Most of the time, family members who accompany students on field trips are able to do so free of charge, depending on the circumstances.