BY CURTIS CARDEN, Elizabethton Star
From Elizabethton to Washington, D.C., the Bartleby Program continues to make waves.
Elizabethton City Schools Director Dr. Corey Gardenhour and Bartleby Program Director Terry Smith were able to showcase the impacts made by the program to the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee Wednesday as part of the committee’s Innovation Forum and Showcase.
ECS represented Tennessee along with other systems from across country and was able to talk about the innovative and unique educational opportunities provided within the area.
The school system has been able to offer new courses and give students a hands-on way of learning after being named a “Super School” through XQ America. Over 20 students and Elizabethton High School instructors were able to develop an application that saw the school receive $200,000 to implement programs, along with scholarships to the students that helped develop the proposal.
For the 2017-18 academic year, EHS was able to create two new classes — Entrepreneurship and Community Involvement. Students involved with the program worked with school staff and community leaders to develop projects within Elizabethton and Carter County, along with creating their own businesses. Due to the success of the inaugural year, the program is anticipating 400 students to participate in 2018-19 and the program has tricked its way down to the middle school and elementary school level.
“It was a tremendous honor to be asked to testify before Congress today about our innovation in education,” Smith said. “The process of becoming a leader stems from our focus on working hard to improve every day. At EHS, we are teaching our children how to find a way to win. We will continue to provide support to our students in their journey to achieve greatness.”
City school officials were invited to the forum by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R – Tenn.)
“I’m proud that Dr. Gardenhour and Mr. Smith were able to share stories with the Committee about the impacts that the Bartleby Program has had on so many kids. I believe it is a model and I’m hopeful we can share the positive impacts of this program with students across the country. I commend Elizabethton Schools and Dr. Gardenhour for their vision with this program, and commend Mr. Smith for the work he has put in to make it such a success. I thank Chairwoman (Virginia) Foxx for offering such an incredible opportunity to hear from various educators from all over America about the ways they are positively impacting future generations,” Roe said in a statement to the Elizabethton Star following the presentation.
Gardenhour thanked Roe and the community support for the opportunities Bartleby has been able to give to students.
“Our goal is to give our students the best possible education and focus on developing that for the future generation of students,” Gardenhour said. “It has been an honor to be named an XQ Super School and have the support. We’re excited about the opportunity to lead the charge on education and thrilled to be part of the event to represent Tennessee among other great schools from across the country.”
Another key component for education was discussed during Wednesday’s event. Congress was working to pass the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act — which includes the American Dream Accounts Act, which was introduced by Roe. The bill would allow students to develop online accounts with information for financial literacy, college readiness and high-impact mentoring as a way to help low-income students consider a college education. The bill passed through Congress.