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Giving kids a new outlook



Published: Mon, August 27, 2007 @ 2:00 a.m.

The YMCA will provide more than just recreational activities to city schoolchildren.

By MAYSOON ABDELRASUL

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN — Instead of pupils going directly home after school and waiting alone for their parents to arrive, or getting on the bus by themselves in the morning, they can spend an extra few hours at school.

The thought of having to stay longer at school may irk pupils, but the opportunities that they will have available to them might give them a new positive outlook on school.

The Trumbull County YMCA collaborated with the Warren City School District to begin a Before and After School Child Care program for children in grades K-5.

YMCA program administrator Paulette Edington said that a survey in the city showed an interest in the program. She said they have found that children sometimes get off the bus and there is nobody home, because parents are at work; or, they get on the bus in the morning by themselves because some parents work before school starts.

“We wanted to help ease parents’ concerns by offering a before- and after-school program,” she said.

This program is different from the other programs offered at the YMCA or the traditional child-care programs. What makes this program unique is the location. Pupils can stay at school, or get transported to one of the four school sites where the program is offered.

Edington said the new Lincoln K-8 school, Williard K-8 site, Jefferson K-8 site and Parkman K-8 site will house this program.

Providing transportation

Warren City Schools will provide transportation to these sites if the children are registered at the other schools.

The YMCA hired site directors and child-care assistants from the community to oversee the children. Edington said many of the people hired are retired teachers.

The YMCA understands that many families in Warren are low- to middle-income families and cannot afford high prices for child care. The cost for a weekly rate before and after school both is $45, before school only is $20 and after school only is $32. The daily rate for both is $11; before school is $6; and after school is $7.

The program is available two hours before school and three hours after school. The program will begin Sept. 4 and has 56 pupils registered. Registration can be done at the YMCA anytime.

Keeping them active

This program is to help keep children active during the school year. Children sit at their desks for hours and then sometimes go home and sit and watch television or play video games. Edington said more children are being diagnosed with diabetes, and 9 million children are either obese or overweight.

“Like adults, children need physical activity to help manage stress, reduce frustration, create energy and ensure they do not become one of the rising number of inactive, out of shape and overweight kids,” she said.

Not only will indoor and outdoor recreational activities be offered, but children will also get help with their homework, build character and integrity, and have project and quiet time.

“We believe kids have the most fun when they are busy and challenged,” she said.

Edington said nonacademic does not mean noneducational. She said, for example, journal writing helps to improve writing skills and stimulates creative thinking at the same time.

Extended learning is also available. Edington said she knows some parents like to be involved and help their children academically, and the program will allow pupils to take activities home and bring them back to the program to share what they have done.


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