JASPER, Mo. — The Jasper School District is focusing on preparing students for life after graduation.

The district was awarded a $63,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the root-Ed Missouri program.

The grant helped the district hired one new counselor for the upcoming school year.

The root-Ed program will help students develop a postsecondary plan, which could be going into the workforce, Armed Forces, tech school or enrolling into a two year or four year institution.

“I think it’s going to give us some credibility. I think it’s going to set our students up. A lot of schools are doing it, but I think its going to give our students an opportunity to see where they will go from here and give them some options they haven’t thought about prior to this year. We are working on some deals with some manufacturing plants that offer free college for students that will go to their schools. So we are trying to do whatever we can for our students to make them successful,” said Dr. Eric Findley, Jasper R5 Superintendent.

The new counselor will also stay in touch with students once a month after they graduate to motivate them to follow through with their plan.