A donation from an anonymous source will allow qualifying Eminence High School sophomores to take the ACT and possibly attend classes at Bellarmine University as part of the school’s mission to make its students college and career ready.
Eminence Independent School Board Superintendent Buddy Berry confirmed Monday that an anonymous donor will give the gift of opportunity to qualifying sophomores.
The donation is specifically for sophomores receiving free or reduced lunch, who now will be able to take the ACT at the end of the school year for free. The current basic registration cost per student to take the ACT is $35, including score reporting to four colleges. The donation of approximately $1,000 will reach an estimated 30 sophomores at Eminence High School.
“It’s not anything extra parents will have to apply for,” Berry said. “Priority will be given to juniors and seniors, but we want everyone to have the opportunity. We’ve never let finances be an obstacle.”
Earlier this year, Berry and EIS instructional supervisor Thom Coffee created a partnership with Bellarmine University for EIS sophomore and juniors to take more than $20,000 of college credits before graduating. Each student also will be equipped with an Apple MacBook Pro and receive supplemental educational material outside of the classroom. The board provides students with Wi-Fi at the community center until 8 p.m. during the school week, including a Wi-Fi equipped bus in transit to the university. Berry said the excitement and commitment from students is inspiring.
“Students are enrolling in summer classes to be ready for the program,” Berry said. “We have three students that will be going to Bellarmine as sophomores. If students have acquired their benchmark requirements even if they are in the 8th grade, we don’t want to hold them back.”
Eminence Independent Schools received $1,000 from another anonymous donor for its teacher of the year award in honor of former Eminence teacher Martha Simpson. Berry still receives encouraging letters from her and considers that both donations speak to the character of the community and its children.
“For the children it means that someone believes in them and how special they are,” Berry said. “It’s also about how special of a place Eminence and Eminence schools are.”
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