ST. GEORGE — The City of St. George’s Leisure Services Department was awarded the Department of Workforce Services’ School Age Quality Grant, which provides funding to expand after-school programs to three additional Title I elementary schools within St. George City limits.
Currently three St. George elementary schools, including Heritage, Sunset and Sandstone elementary schools, have reaped the benefits of the after-school program. This fall, students from Coral Cliffs, Paradise Canyon and Legacy will be incorporated under the growing umbrella of after-school programming offered through the City of St. George.
“The children of St. George are important to us. We are aware of the need for additional programming during the after-school hours,” said Dawn Eide-Albrecht, Recreation Supervisor in the City of St. George’s Leisure Services Department. “It came to our attention that the Department of Workforce Services issued additional funding possibilities, so we took the initiative and applied,”
In conjunction with the Washington County School District, the St. George Leisure Services Department established the after-school program to provide students the opportunity to enhance their academic progress, boost social skills and self-esteem, while providing an avenue that may inspire students to pursue new interests in a safe and caring environment. The program strives to assist in improving daily school attendance, developing positive peer relationships and reducing at-risk behaviors. Each location will host a 32-week program for the students.
The city’s youth programs’ staff members are not the only ones that believe in the positive benefits of the program. Principals of the participating schools support offering more to their students.
“The program lets students complete their homework before they get home, which really helps,” said Amy Wilcox, Principal of Heritage Elementary. “The element of the program that resonates with me the most is the young adults working with the students. All students need great adult role models and those working at our program have been great for our kids.”
“This benefits families where parents are working and are in need of childcare,” said Julie Smith, Principal of Sunset Elementary. “Many of our students are able to receive help on their homework, participate in planned activities and have supervision for several hours after school. Students also have the opportunity to form friendships with others in the program and have the influence of additional caring adults in their lives.”
Those interested in registering for the afterschool program can contact their school’s administration office for more information.
Eide-Albrecht showed excitement for the program. “This is a big step toward a long-term vision of where I, along with my youth program staff, see the after-school program developing into a larger partnership with the Washington County School District. We began this component of youth programming in 2013 with the ability to fund just one school, so to be able to support programs in six schools in 2021 is amazing.”
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