Richmond organization plans to expand services with the help of - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond organization plans to expand services with the help of grant money

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

After the regular school day is done, one group of students prepares for a second round of education.

The students, who range from 2nd to 12th grades, are part of the after school education program at the Peter Paul Development Center in the Church Hill community. So, that means many of their afternoons are spent either figuring out problems on paper or on computers.

"Throughout the course of the year, our teachers, tutors, and other volunteers and program assistants, are working with an individual student to strive towards the goals identified in their P-PEP," said the center's executive director Damon Jiggetts.

P-PEP stands for Peter Paul Educational Plan, and it is a test to determine strengths and weaknesses.

Once the teachers and volunteers know what they are for each student, they work with them one-on-one to make improvements.

So far, this formula has proven to be a success, which is just one reason why the center recently received a $150,000 "Investing For Good" grant from Capital One. The grant will allow the center to expand its reach to nearby Fairfield Court Elementary School. It will also help to expand its summer program from half days to full days.

"Every child is a wealth of potential, and I think what Peter Paul is doing is fantastic in terms of capturing these children early in their lives and bringing them into a safe place, giving them skills and education and healthy food to eat, partnering with the food bank, partnering with schools, to really look after these human beings," said Capital One senior vice president David Wright.

The center offers all of these services for free.

With the help of the Capitol One grant, the center's staff is excited about helping even more children in the community- children they believe desperately need it.

"Kids aren't products of their environment. I think they are products of our expectations of them and their own expectations of themselves, and as long as we support them in striving toward those expectations, they'll be fine," said Jiggetts.

The Peter Paul Development Center serves a little more than one hundred students from four area housing communities. It also provides services for senior citizens.

It has provided these and other community services since 1979.

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