The Friends of King board of directors has green-lighted a continuing search for grants to finance a pre-kindergarten program at Joseph A. Craig Elementary School and learning centers to supplement classroom instruction at both Craig and Martin Luther King Science and Technology Charter School.

Passage of resolutions authorizing reapplication for the funding was the highlight of the directors’ monthly meeting, March 12, in the Craig library.

Called 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the facilities at Craig and King schools would be open to enrolled students as well as other youth during non-school hours. The centers are part of a program offered through the federal Department of Education. The pre-kindergarten program at Craig is another federal initiative and would be a first for Craig. It would be implemented through contact with local day-care services.  

In other business, four eighth-grade students from Craig told the board about a recent visit to Martin Luther King High School, which all said they plan to attend next year. At King, they were treated to a performance by the school band and met with two mentoring groups, Nu Lambda Kappa and My Sister’s Keepers.

Principal and chief executive officer Doris Hicks said that the groundbreaking for a new Martin Luther King High School building, on the site of the former Lawless High School, is scheduled for March or April.  Board members applauded the news.

As part of a multimedia presentation on services available from the Spears Consulting Group,  founder and president Cleveland Spears III said the company handles strategic communications, community engagement, and creative/web services. He said Spears’ clients have included the Algiers Charter School Association and Encore Academy as well as businesses and government agencies.

“This is how we let people know that the best schools in the city are in the Lower Ninth Ward, and now the Treme,” board attorney Tracie Washington said.

The 44-minute meeting and ended at 1:04 p.m.

Present were board president Hilda Young, treasurer George Rabb and members Joe Long, Thelma Ruth, Eartha Johnson, Sandra Monroe, Gail Armant, and Cora Charles. Member Kenya Rounds was absent. Also present were Joseph Craig Elementary principal Ora Wiley, director of finance Shawne Favre, and project manager Sylvia Arcenaux-Ellison, as well as King staff and members of the public.