Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 10, 2014

D-80 program may be delayed

MT. VERNON — A large portion of District 80’s after-school program could be postponed for a few months this fall as organizers wait to receive grant funding from the state.

Superintendent Mike Green said the district will apply for a new $250,000 grant for the program this summer, but the funding would not be received until Nov. 1.

This means many students would not be able to take advantage of the program until at least mid-November, Green said. The portion of the program funded by this grant serves 325 kindergarten through fifth grade students.

“It leaves you hanging and you feel real bad for the parents and the students because (the parents) need to make plans where their children are going to go after school,” Green said.

The potential delay of the after-school program came up for discussion at Wednesday night’s meeting of the District 80 Board of Education.

At that time, Assistant Superintendent Aletta Lawrence informed the board of the need to apply for a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Grant. The federal grant is administered through the state.

The district has been receiving two such grants for the after-school program. The smaller of the two — which serves 75 Casey Middle School students — will not be delayed this fall since the district is entering year three of the five-year grant.

The larger grant, however, expired last year and the district needs to apply for a new one in the amount of $250,000, school officials said.

Lawrence said the district will try to reach out to the YMCA of Jefferson County to possibly set up an interim after-school program until the grant funding is received in November.

“That’s going to be a challenge,” Lawrence said. “There’s quite a few children depending on that program.”

The after-school program lasts until 5:30 p.m. each school day. Students attending the service receive help with homework and additional instruction. Also, the program gives children a safe place to go while their parents are working, Green said.

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