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Fredericksburg colleges’ Tremendous Cat bus is able to hit the streets | Schooling

One night throughout the peak of the pandemic, when colleges have been closed, Fredericksburg Metropolis Public Colleges superintendent Marci Catlett was sitting at house when a college bus pulled up in her avenue.

College division employees members piled out “like a SWAT group,” Catlett stated, to distribute packets of assignments, actions, provides and small items to the scholars who lived on her avenue.

That operation was one in all many who caught with Catlett and impressed her dream for town faculty system to have its personal everlasting neighborhood engagement bus—a dream that got here true this month when the division unveiled the Tremendous Cat Bus.

The Tremendous Cat Bus would be the new house for college division outreach packages, such the Fredericksburg Alliance for Scholar Achievement’s annual spring SOL kickoff occasion, which brings meals and SOL research supplies to the neighborhoods of Bragg Hill, Hazel Hill and Heritage Park.

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Catlett stated that beforehand, members of FASA would carry check prep supplies within the trunks of their vehicles for the occasion.

Along with particular occasions, the plan is for the Tremendous Cat Bus to exit into metropolis neighborhoods regularly, “taking the classroom on the highway,” Catlett stated.

The bus has been outfitted with WiFi and a giant display TV, and can carry details about the college division for folks and studying, useful resource and math packets for college students.

Making the Tremendous Cat Bus a actuality was a collaboration between faculty employees, college students and the Fredericksburg Host Lions Membership, which donated over $30,000 to the venture.

Catlett stated she shared her concept for the bus with native membership president Shirley Eye, a former instructor and principal, final 12 months.

“Serving youth is likely one of the focus areas of the Lions Membership group and schooling is seen as a key part of this effort,” stated native Lions Membership spokesperson Grant Gates. “With the FHLC’s dedication to town of Fredericksburg, this was a major alternative to work with the general public faculty system to assist the college youngsters of this neighborhood.”

The native membership’s board of administrators donated $10,000 to the venture this 12 months and raised an extra $28,000 by grants from the Lions of Virginia Basis and the Lions Golf equipment Worldwide Basis.

The membership plans to make use of the Tremendous Cat Bus to conduct its free imaginative and prescient screenings for space youngsters, Catlett stated.

Brian Kiernan, meals companies director for the college division—following the identical course of he makes use of for his cellular feeding truck program—bought a used 2004 faculty bus to remodel into the Tremendous Cat Bus and labored with the faculties’ IT director, Mike George, to design the inside.

College students in J. Andrew Ewing’s carpentry class at James Monroe Excessive College accomplished the demolition of the bus’s inside and Hamilton Works Inc., a neighborhood firm that makes a speciality of car conversions, did the inside build-out, making certain that the Tremendous Cat Bus can be absolutely handicap-accessible.

FCPS held a division-wide contest in 2020, inviting college students to create a brand for the bus. A panel chosen one winner from grades Okay–5 and one from grades 6–12.

Ken Crampton, cafeteria supervisor at Walker–Grant Center College, designed the wrap for the bus, incorporating the profitable pupil designs, and one other native firm, Illusions Wraps, put in it.

The identify of the bus is a nickname Metropolis Council member Charlie Frye got here up with for Catlett, who taught him in sixth grade, when she grew to become division superintendent.

It is a mixture of the phrases “superintendent” and “Catlett.”

Delia Clayton–Fulcher, pupil help specialist at Walker–Grant Center College, has additionally been instrumental in bringing the Tremendous Cat Bus to life, Catlett stated.

She will likely be accountable for working with every division faculty to place collectively a schedule for the bus to go to metropolis neighborhoods.

Count on to see the Tremendous Cat Bus out within the metropolis this fall.

Adele Uphaus–Conner:




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