Four Schools Offer Free After School Program
MARIONA OAKS, FL.-
An after- school program is designed to help at risk kids in some rural neighborhoods in Marion County.
As many as 400 students are eligible.
The district selected four high poverty schools located in rural areas
One mother explains the program gives her daughters a chance to learn new skills.
"I think it's not just a program for fun, I think it benefits academically," said Nancy Shaw.
Shaw has two daughters who attend Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks.
That's one out of four schools that offer a free after- school program Monday through Thursday.
"Instead of coming home and not being able to do anything they come here and they just have a lot of enjoyment," said Shaw.
Twenty-first century community learning centers program is federally funded.
The district gets a $600,000 grant to pay for snacks, staff, students and transportation.
David Ellers is the Executive Director of Secondary Education for Marion cCunty public schools.
"It's not daycare and it's not just open rec time. The grant requires us to have a high quality program which includes academic," said Ellers.
He said it's critical to have this program in place.
Especially since the tough economy has forced some parents to work two jobs.
"Instead of a student having to go home to a house that's empty and try to do homework on their own and try to stay self motivated. We got really good hands on learning activities, homework help for the students," said Ellers.
At Horizon Academy the students need at sign up for at least one hour of academics.
They can chose from poetry to drama, a hands on science program and many other courses, but they also get the chance to let loose and enjoy other recreational activities.
"She really loves archery and they teach her here and she was never able to do that," said Shaw.
The three other schools that offer this program are Fort McCoy, Lake Weir and North Marion middle.
Currently there are still spots avaliable at both Fort McCoy and North Marion.
Contact the school if your interested in having your child join.
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