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RCS holds meeting to promote after-school program

By Tyler Hargett for the FCT


School can be tough for students. They might struggle with homework, have parents who need to work until the evening or just want more fun and interactive things to do at school. Beginning in December, Russellville Elementary and West Elementary will be giving students – and parents – a way to tackle each of these problems, with the return of the after-school program.

When both schools received a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, the Tiger P.A.W.S. After-School Program was born. Russellville Elementary Assistant Principal Paula Young was named program director. She led an informational meeting on the program last week.

“I have believed in the program so much from before, and now I have my own kids signed up,” Young said. “I love what it’s about. Believe me, your children will not just be sitting around for two and a half hours. They will be doing fun and educational stuff.”

The program will start Dec. 1 and be held Monday through Friday from 3-5:30 p.m. until the end of the school year (except on holidays or in the case of early school dismissals or days when school is not in session). After students are let out of school, they will proceed to their respective school’s cafeteria, where homework help and a snack will be provided. After this, they will break up into groups and go with one of the teachers into their classroom, where they will participate in different activities, including STEM projects, art and music.

The program is open to students in grades K-2 at West Elementary and grades 3-5 at Russellville Elementary. The following items are required to complete the registration process:

  • Completed and signed registration form
  • Non-refundable registration fee ($10)
  • Tuition payment for first week
  • Signed Parent Handbook form

Tuition costs vary based on family income and number of children enrolled.

Even though the program begins Dec. 1, Young explained, a child has no start date requirement and can start and stop at any time as long as there is a spot available. However, weekly tuition is always due by Friday for the coming week. Since there are only 90 spots in each after-school group, parents who want their child to attend the first week must have all requirements and the first week’s payment in no later than Nov. 28.

The grants will last for the next three years, with a summer program starting around a week after school lets out and a fall program starting not long after school starts back in August. Young said she hopes the program will continue for years to come, helping students get more out of each school day.

“I’d love for them to come home from after-school and tell their parents what they did and tell their friends that they should join the program,” she said.

For more information about the program or assistance signing up, contact Young at or 256-331-2123 ext. 1602.