Far left: Steve Henry, general manager, Hawesville Mill. Far right: Mike Arblaster, plant manager, Owensboro Converting. They attended the ribbon cutting for Exploration Station with local education leaders.
Domtar’s Hawesville Mill and Owensboro Converting Center, both located in Kentucky, joined with Domtar’s Sustainability Committee to make a financial donation to the Exploration Station.
Developed by the Foundation for Daviess County Public Schools Board of Directors, Exploration Station is a decommissioned school bus that has been renovated into a mobile educational center. It offers an exciting and unique educational platform for area students.
Why Exploration Station?
The Exploration Station’s primary focus is taking educational enhancement opportunities into areas with historically low academic success rates. This mobile station takes the school district’s Summer Learning Academy, Summer Food Service Program, after-school programming, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and college application assistance and other support into areas of need. It also serves as a collection center for books, school supplies, coats and more.
The bus features an internet café with Wi-Fi, laptop computers, computer tablets, and a printer station. It also offers literacy, science and/or craft stations, as well as free books and other reading materials to help students improve their literacy. In addition, the Exploration Station has recently been approved as a Summer Food Service Program site that can provide meals to low-income students who visit. It also brings physical education equipment into underserved neighborhoods.
Preventing Summer Slide
This summer, the Exploration Station visited more than 60 neighborhood visits. Several of the communities on the itinerary are rural and are located far from a public library. The bus offered students in these areas access to books.
The summer literacy, math, science and physical education programs will help students in neighborhoods with a historically high incidence of what educators refer to as “summer slide.”
“Summer slide is the loss of learning over a period of time that occurs in students who do not have consistent access to educational materials,” said Caleb York, principal of Audubon Elementary School. “For some students, this can equate to a two- to three-month backtrack. I am looking forward to bringing meaningful learning experiences to our students and families.”
Domtar is proud to partner with the Foundation for Daviess County Public Schools Board of Directors on this education project. You can read more about other education, literacy and school projects that Domtar has supported in the past.