WES receives grant funding for after-school care

Parents of students at West Elementary School will now have an option for free childcare beginning in October, as West Elementary School has received a grant for its 21st Century Community Learning Center.

The current cost of attendance for students in WES’ after-school program is $35 per week, but beginning in October, when the grant takes effect, there will be no cost for program participants.

“Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families in our community,” said WES After-School site coordinator Rhonda Pounders. “This will provide afterschool care for many families in our community.”

Currently 40 students are enrolled in afterschool care at WES, but the grant will allow for up to 90 students during the school year and 105 students during the summer program.

Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes said WES and RES will both receive the grant this year. Both schools have had the grant in the past, but WES did not receive it last year.

“We are very excited to have this grant back,” Grimes said. “We know this will be very beneficial to our students and their parents.”

Students who participate in the program receive many opportunities for academic enrichment, including learning programs, extra assistance in reading and math, art and music education activities, physical activity, technology education programs, programs aimed toward family literacy and character education programs.

“Numerous studies have shown that quality programs give students the academic, social and career-ready skills they need to succeed,” Pounders said. “Recent research has shown that students enrolled in a 21st CCLC program show improvement in homework completion, class participation, attendance, behavior in class and reading and math achievement scores and grades.”

Pounders said she is excited the grant will give more families in the community access to the program for free so more students are able to experience it.

For more information on signing a student up for after-school care at WES, contact the main office at West Elementary School.